Arsenal, Chelsea boosted as Ornstein predicts Zaha ‘will go as free agent’ in summer

crystal palace star wilfried zaha

The likes of Arsenal and Chelsea have been boosted as David Ornstein has predicted that Wilfried Zaha will “go as a free agent” in the summer.

Zaha has been a star performer for Crystal Palace over the past few years after he returned to the club from Manchester United.

The attacker enjoyed a great season from a goalscoring perspective last term as he netted 14 times in the league.

He has also made a strong start to the 2022/23 campaign as he has been involved in six goals in nine appearances.

The Ivory Coast international was linked with Arsenal and Chelsea late into the summer transfer window.

Zaha has now entered the final year of his contract with Crystal Palace but Patrick Vieira is calm about the situation.

Earlier this month he insisted that Zaha’s contract situation is “not an issue” for Palace.

“It’s not an issue at all,” said Vieira.

“Wilfried knows what the club thinks about him and we know what he thinks about the club.

“There will be a discussion taking place but for myself and for the club what is important is for him to play at this level and to be consistent and to help those young players around him to grow and we’ll see what will happen.”

Reports of Zaha leaving Palace will intensify over the next few months if he does not pen a contract extension.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have been encouraged by Gabriel Agbonlahor to make a move for Zaha.

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Now Ornstein (The Athletic) has suggested that “a number of clubs will look at” signing Zaha.

He also adds that many believe that Zaha will hold out and leave Crystal Palace on a free transfer.

“Palace would dearly love to sign Zaha to sign him to a new contract I’m sure. But with free agency looming and he’s never had that big move that many anticipated,” Ornstein said on the Vibe with Five podcast. 

“Of course, he went to Manchester United and it didn’t work out but since then we’ve seen Arsenal linked with him, we’ve seen Tottenham at various points, and we’ve seen Chelsea last summer.

“That move hasn’t happened. Palace value him so highly as they know without him there’s a good chance they’d be in a relegation scrap.

“So they’ve always set a very high asking price. There’ll be a number of clubs who will look at him and wonder if they can get him for nothing in the summer of 2023.

“There’ll be conversations I’m sure. Many in the game feel he’ll hold out and go as a free agent and play in the Champions League.”

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