‘I’ll let Wilfried go’: Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish insists he will allow Zaha to leave once valuation is met and he can find a replacement
- Crystal Palace say their valuation of Wilfried Zaha has not been met this summer
- Winger was desperate to secure move away but remains at Selhurst Park
- Steve Parish insists Zaha can go once his valuation is met and replacement found
- Eagles chairman added: ‘I’m sure it has a happy ending for everybody’
Steve Parish has promised to deliver Wilfried Zaha the ‘happy ending’ he desires — by allowing him to leave.
But the Crystal Palace chairman is insistent that he must first find a replacement for the 26-year-old winger. Zaha handed in a transfer request to force a move to Everton, but Parish suggested the player can do better and will not stand in his way any longer if the price is right.
‘I’m sure it has a happy ending for everybody,’ said Parish. ‘That’s what I want to generate and I’m sure we’ll make that happen.
Steve Parish has promised to deliver Wilfried Zaha the ‘happy ending’ he desires
Wilfried Zaha wanted to leave Crystal Palace this summer but the valuation was not met
‘We’ve all been young, but the situation was not right for anybody this summer. You think at the time it is, but I wouldn’t put a cap on this kid’s talent.
‘I’ve watched him every week for 10 years, he scored the first goal in the first game after we bought the club when he was 16. So there’s even a bit of me that wants to see what he can do at a top club, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the person who stopped that.
‘I feel he deserves to get there, I hope it happens and sometimes it mystifies me he’s not up there already. I don’t know what he’s got to do — run the length of the pitch and beat four players? If people stood in my shoes having to replace him, trying to find someone in world football to do what he does, they would know.
‘We’re lucky to have him. But if that top club comes along and the money’s right, he’s an extraordinary talent and it’s going to be very difficult for us.’ Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said Zaha had a ‘beef’ with the chairman after his request to leave was rejected, but Parish said his behaviour had been ‘exemplary’ since. Parish said.
Palace chairman Steve Parish says he is hopeful of a ‘happy ending’ for all involved
Zaha has knuckled down and is working hard for the Eagles after missing out on his move
‘I’m here to do a job and my relationship with Wilfried has always recognised that. I’ve never asked him for a favour, he’s never asked me for one. It’s a professional relationship.
‘It was just at that moment we weren’t aligned, but I’ll try to find a solution from here.
‘Aaron Wan-Bissaka went to Manchester United, so if top clubs come in for our players with the right money, then it’s a timing issue. We have to make a plan for the evolution of our squad. Wilfried won’t be here forever, and we must be ready for him to go, if he does go. The last day of the transfer window, however, is not going to be it.’
Arsenal are believed to have made a £40m offer for Zaha, which is way below Palace’s valuation. It was rejected and they did not improve it. Parish confirmed: ‘We didn’t have a bid of the value we place on the player.
It was the right decision for Crystal Palace and at some time we’ll find a solution. Either this club goes in the direction that would make Wilfried want to stay, or there is an offer that suits us, suits him and will work.’