Barcelona and Juventus target Wilfried Zaha deal as Crystal Palace wait on new contract offer

 (ES COMPOSITE)
(ES COMPOSITE)

Barcelona and Juventus will explore a move for Wilfried Zaha with the Crystal Palace forward yet to commit his future to Selhurst Park.

The Ivory Coast international has grown into a talismanic figure in south London in eight years at the Premier League club across two stints. Zaha still has designs on Champions League exploits however, and the 29-year-old is expected to receive lucrative offers to quit the Eagles next summer when his contract expires.

Barcelona shrugged off a host of money worries to pull together a recruitment flurry in the summer, and will be determined to keep building next year. Nou Camp officials view Zaha’s mix of direct running and smart finishing as a good fit for their club, Standard Sport understands.

Juventus will be seeking to freshen up their squad at the end of the campaign, especially if their lacklustre Serie A opening continues. The Turin side sit just seventh in Italy’s top-flight, and will demand more in both the short and medium term. Bosses at Juventus are thought to see Zaha as a potential foil for attacking talents such as Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic.

Career crossroads: Wilfried Zaha has yet to sign a new contract at Crystal Palace (Getty Images)
Career crossroads: Wilfried Zaha has yet to sign a new contract at Crystal Palace (Getty Images)

Chelsea and Arsenal have both tracked Zaha for some time, and either club would be able to outbid both Barcelona and Juventus in terms of wages. Palace are understood to have made Zaha a verbal offer of a new contract that would increase the player’s pay.

Both Barcelona and Juventus would be confident of offering Zaha competitive terms that are an improvement on his current deal at Palace. The European heavyweights are well-versed in seeking out free-transfer opportunities, and are thought to see another chance to pounce here.

Zaha will be able to talk to overseas suitors directly on terms in January, should he still not have sealed a new Palace deal by then. The pacy forward will turn 30 on Thursday and now finds himself at a critical juncture in his career.

Zaha could stay at Palace and cement his south London legacy as an Eagles star to go down as a much-loved club stalwart, especially in the eyes of supporters. A big-ticket switch at potentially the peak of his powers, however, would provide not just a new challenge but also a possible refresh of both outlook and approach.