•The transfer window ended with Wilfried Zaha still a Crystal Palace player
•Chairman Steve Parish stood his ground and refused to sell the Ivorian
Furious Wilfried Zaha was left fearing his chance of a big-money transfer may have gone after missing out on a deadline day move to Everton.
The transfer window ended with Zaha still a Crystal Palace player after defiant chairman Steve Parish stood his ground and refused to sell his disillusioned star man.
And insiders claimed that at one point Everton were struggling to get Palace to answer their calls and Eagles chiefs were ‘dodging them (Everton) every way possible’ such was the south Londoners determination to hang onto their prized asset.
Zaha was desperate to leave Selhurst Park and handed in a transfer request on Wednesday to try and push through a transfer. But Palace rejected a string of offers from Everton and had no interest in entertaining the Toffees on the final day of the window as they pondered one final move for the 26-year-old.
Manager Roy Hodgson said: “His (Zaha’s) beef, unfortunately, is with the chairman and owners of the club. He wanted to leave and they have not received the offer that is sufficient to allow him to leave so he has to come to terms with that. “I don’t have any issues with him but today was not the right day.”
Zaha arrived at Palace’s training ground on Thursday morning and was already so disillusioned about seeing his hopes of a transfer blocked that he was deemed not in the right frame of mind to train by Hodgson. He instead did a short session in the gym before returning home.
His appearance at training on Friday was in doubt on Thursday night and Zaha is now expected to miss Crystal Palace’s season opener, ironically, against Everton.
Zaha only returned to Palace this week after being granted time off following his exertions at the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.
His lack of training this week may have meant Saturday’s clash with Everton had come too soon for Zaha. But Zaha’s disappointment at missing out on a move to Everton has only increased the chances he won’t be involved at Selhurst Park and not be in the right frame of mind to play.
Zaha feels Parish has gone back on his word after assuring him Palace would not stand in his way or price him out of a summer move. They rejected a £40m offer from Arsenal that was way short of their valuation but also a number of proposals from Everton—the highest of £70m cash, Cenk Tosun on loan and James McCarthy, who joined on a separate deal - for Zaha. Palace were demanding as much as £100m.
Palace will reconsider Zaha’s future in January but he is now concerned whether he will receive the same level of interest that Everton showed during this window and his opportunity may have gone.
Hodgson added: “Absolutely we are pleased about that [that he is staying] and I am looking forward to him doing what he has done for the last two seasons.
“It has been well-documented that he wanted to leave but it hasn’t worked out for him. He is a player we respect very much and I believe he respects us so we expect him to come back and do what he does.
“I am looking forward to seeing him on Friday. Hopefully, he will have come to terms with the fact he has another season with Crystal Palace.”