Manchester City Transfer News: Wilfried Zaha to Stay at Palace in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2017

Crystal Palace's Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha celebrates on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 16, 2017.
Crystal Palace won the game 3-0. / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey PARNABY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace will reportedly resist any offers made for Wilfried Zaha in January amid links to Manchester City.

According to Ed Aarons of the Guardian, Palace value the player at a whopping £50 million, and there are a host of clubs tracking his progress with interest:

Ed Aarons @ed_aarons

Told there is no chance of Wilfried Zaha leaving Palace next month but Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham have all expressed an interest in £50m rated forward

It was reported by the Daily Mirror's Adrian Kajumba that City are ready to battle with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea to sign the Eagles talisman. 

Zaha is said to be being considered as a possible alternative to Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez by Pep Guardiola, with the Manchester outfit hoping to snap him up at the end of the season for nothing when his contract expires.

The winger did have a spell at Manchester United earlier in his career, but he failed to live up to the potential he showcased at Palace. However, since returning to Selhurst Park, the Ivory Coast international has gone from strength to strength.

It's no coincidence that Palace have moved up the Premier League table rapidly since his comeback from injury.

As noted by Sky Sports Statto, he was exceptional in the Eagles' impressive 3-0 win over Leicester City:

Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto

Man of the Match, @CPFC’s Wilfried Zaha 53 touches 14 dribbles, most in a PL game this season 25 passes 3 chances created 3 shots, 2 on target, 4th PL goal this season https://t.co/riRZXThnuW

The forward can shred opponents when at his best. Zaha has a rare blend of pace, power, flair and technique, meaning he can get at opponents in many different ways.

The Palace No. 11 has showcased plenty of versatility this season, too. While he can be effective on either flank, the Ivorian has been played as an orthodox centre-forward since manager Roy Hodgson arrived at the club.

Zaha has been excellent form this season.
Zaha has been excellent form this season.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

There's also a newfound maturity about Zaha, as he's relished being the main man for the south London club.

Sports writer James McNicholas believes the player made the jump to United, in 2013, a little too early:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

Wilfried Zaha is 25 and beginning to look like the player United thought they had signed. Some players move too soon, and some simply need more time.

Now he's one of the most dangerous footballers in the division, and interest from the Premier League's elite is inevitable given he's plying his trade for a club languishing in the bottom halfeven from City, who are cruising to the title after their incredible beginning to the campaign.

In Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling, Guardiola does have some of the most potent wide players in the country, although Zaha would be a fine alternative to the devastating duo.

Of course, the issue for Zaha if he were to move to City would be getting regular minutes. The Etihad Stadium is home to some of the most creative footballers around, per Squawka Football:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Most assists in the Premier League this season: Kevin De Bruyne (8) Leroy Sane (8) David Silva (8) Crazy Eights. 🎱 https://t.co/v5vAKojlsX

At Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur, there would potentially be more opportunities for Zaha, and that's something he'd surely consider if he were to move on, especially given how he toiled at Old Trafford.

Any decision may have to wait until the summer at least, though, and that's understandable from Palace's perspective. Regardless of any possible fee they would receive for Zaha, they are not out of the woods in terms of securing their top-flight status yet, and letting their key man go would be a huge gamble.