Crystal Palace have slapped an astronomical price tag on Wilfried Zaha, so West Ham should test their resolve with a player-plus-cash deal offer involving Michail Antonio.
What’s the story?
According to The Evening Standard, Zaha has asked to leave Selhurst Park, rejecting a whopping new contract offer of around £125,000-a-week.
The report claims Palace have whacked a £70m price tag on the dazzling winger though, meaning interested parties like Tottenham are now considering offering a player as part of the deal to bring the price down.
This should be giving West Ham ideas, especially as they already have a player the Eagles are interested in.
Various reports have claimed Antonio could make the switch to Palace this summer, and if the 28 year-old knocked around £20m off the price tag it would be a win for all parties.
Palace would get rid a player who doesn’t want to be there, while bringing in a direct replacement and enough cash to add even more talent. West Ham would get an attack fearsome enough to push them into the top six, and push Marko Arnautovic to an elite level.
The fearsome foursome?
If Manuel Pellegrini is intent on playing 4-2-3-1 this season, then it’s no surprise he has targeted the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson in the summer window, meaning there is tons of creativity and pace around Arnautovic.
While it could sacrifice some defensive stability, adding Zaha to that threesome would give the Hammers the best attack outside of the top six, and possibly even the best in the league if they hit the ground running.
In his 16 starts as a central striker last season, Arnautovic grabbed nine goals and five assists, and he bagged twice in a pre-season match against Preston on Saturday.
Now, consider the amount of chances that would fall to him with Zaha, Anderson and Yarmolenko interchanging around him, and the Austrian could well be a front-runner for the golden boot.
Zaha averaged an incredible 4.1 dribbles and 1.8 key passes per game last season, and one has to think he would have had a hell of a lot more than three Premier League assists playing with a more clinical striker than Christian Benteke.
The 25 year-old is rapid, has great link-up play and loves driving defenders back towards their own goal. He also has the intelligence and versatility to play just off Arnautovic, with Yarmolenko and Anderson either side of the pair.
Palace probably wouldn’t want to sell to a London rival, but the Hammers have a major bargaining chip in Antonio, and the owners have already shown they’re finally willing to splash the cash they’ve been saving up all these years.
So, West Ham fans, would you back a huge Antonio-plus-cash deal for Zaha? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
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