Arsenal highly unlikely to sign Wilfried Zaha as transfer saga turns ugly
Crystal Palace are determined not to sell Wilfried Zaha to Arsenal.
The Palace hierarchy are fuming because they believe Arsenal have deliberately set out to unsettle Zaha and try to get him to force through a move.
Arsenal’s first approach of around £40million has been dismissed out of hand and, while the Gunners are expected to go back with a better offer and potentially a deal involving players, that will get short shrift.
It has left Palace angry with Arsenal’s tactics and the deal already looks highly unlikely because the transfer has turned ugly and become a saga very quickly.
Palace are under no pressure to sell Zaha and value him at £80m with the added complication of having to pay Manchester United 25 per cent of any profit from the £6m deal which took him back to Selhurst Park in 2015.
Arsenal could offer Carl Jenkinson as one of at least two players in part exchange as the right-back played for England under Roy Hodgson and they are also willing to listen to offers for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shkodran Mustafi while Alex Iwobi might be a more natural fit.
However, Palace seem intent on digging their heels in and unless Arsenal get to Palace’s valuation then they are determined not to sell with their resolve only strengthened by the last few days.
Arsenal have got one piece of business done which is Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli, 18, in a £6m move from Brazilian side Ituano.
Martinelli is regarded as one of Brazil’s best young prospects and was invited to train with the senior squad ahead of the Copa America.
The deal is a clear indicator of former Arsenal midfielder Edu returning to his old club as the technical director as he has strong links from his existing job in Brazil and will arrive in London after the Copa America.
Martinelli said: “I model my game on Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a player who works hard, pushing himself to the next level. Always in the run for titles and individual trophies.
"This is a dream since I was a child and also my family's dream for me to be playing in Europe and playing for a big team like Arsenal. I am going to take this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, kit manufacturers adidas have blocked and removed a series of anti-semitic and other offensive tweets after encouraging fans to post on social media and put their names on the back of the new Arsenal kit.
It was hijacked on Monday night and still on display on Tuesday morning and was immediately condemned by Arsenal.
An adidas spokesperson said: “Due to a small minority creating offensive versions of this we have immediately turned off the functionality and the Twitter team will be investigating.”
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