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Arsenal’s £40m bid for Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha “getting predictably ugly”

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The summer heat is starting to get to negotiations for the Ivorian.

Crystal Palace FW Wilfried Zaha rues a missed chance during a match against Everton, Apr. 27, 2019.
Crystal Palace FW Wilfried Zaha rues a missed chance during a match against Everton, Apr. 27, 2019.
Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images

Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol has reported today that Arsenal have made a £40m bid for Crystal Palace FW Wilfried Zaha who is keen to move from South to North London:

But things aren’t quite so simple, as the BBC’s David Ornstein is reporting that things are “getting predictably ugly”:

Arsenal aren’t in the best position to negotiate here in terms of leverage. Palace recently sold RB Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50m, so they’re not in deep need for funds for the summer window. And they’ve reportedly put a £80m value behind Zaha, so this early bid certainly isn’t going to draw any sincere interest from Palace.

It’s a matter of balancing other moves. Arsenal could certainly raise the sufficient funds to make a more competitive bid without having to accede to Palace’s full demands, but it would require some sales elsewhere. And while part of that is a bit of a game of whack-a-mole, there’s also the question of whether or not it’s wise to invest as much in Zaha when a sale would likely deplete Arsenal’s offense anyway and when there are arguably bigger needs for Arsenal this window, like a solid defender or two.

These are just the beginning of negotiations. That things are getting “ugly” isn’t the worst set of circumstances. The bigger issue is that Arsenal are negotiating from a point of weakness in terms of financial leverage, timing and need.

Such is the cost of missing out on Champions League action.

(UPDATED at 6:22pm ET)

Per Neil Ashton (The Sun/Sky Sports), it sounds like Arsenal were trying to negotiate a lower fee based for up front payment: