TIME TO GO – Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha insists he should be playing in Champions League: ‘I have to aim for the very highest level’
- Wilfried Zaha has put the big clubs on alert by outlining his ambitious plans
- He wants to play for an elite Champions League side and challenge for trophies
- Crystal Palace fended off strong interest in their pacy winger last summer
- But there is a growing feeling at Palace that it is the right time to let him leave
Wilfried Zaha has revealed he is ready to leave Crystal Palace this summer.
In an exclusive interview with Sportsmail, Zaha put the big clubs on alert by outlining his ambitions to play for an elite side in the Champions League and challenge for trophies.
The 26-year-old former Manchester United winger said: ‘I’m too ambitious. And not ambitious just to play for a top club, but to win things at club level and with the Ivory Coast.
Wilfried Zaha admits he is ready to leave Crystal Palace to reach the ‘very highest level’
The pacy winger has been dubbed the best player outside the Premier League’s ‘big six’
‘For me to be better, to achieve what I know I am capable of, I have to aim to play at the very highest level, to win trophies. I’m blessed to have come this far in my playing career. But I feel like there is so much more I have to offer.
‘I have to experience the Champions League. I just need the opportunity, that’s it. And I’ll do the rest.’
Palace fended off interest in talisman Zaha last summer, persuading him to sign a £130,000-a-week, five-year deal that made him their highest earner.
As a result, it is going to take a hefty offer, well above £50million, before Palace do business.
But there is a growing feeling behind the scenes at Selhurst Park that this summer is the right time to let their best player leave — if the price is right. Palace previously sold Zaha to United for £10m in 2013 before bringing him back two years later.
26-year-old Palace star Zaha insists he wants to be playing Champions League football
Zaha has plenty of suitors, including Arsenal, Man United, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal are big fans of Zaha, while the prospect of a return to Old Trafford has increased following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as manager.
Zaha impressed Solskjaer when they worked together at Cardiff in 2014 — the player was on loan — and United have made signing a right winger their top priority.
Jadon Sancho tops United’s list but Borussia Dortmund’s ‘not for sale’ stance, plus rival interest from Paris Saint-Germain, represent considerable obstacles.
Zaha is also expected to have options abroad, including Inter Milan and Dortmund.
Chelsea — whose transfer plans are dependent on their appeal against a two-window FIFA ban — and Tottenham have been keen on Zaha in the past.
Zaha revealed his ambitious plans in an exclusive interview with Sportsmail’s Adrian Kajumba