When news broke of Arsenal’s £40m bid for Wilfried Zaha, perhaps the most standout feature of it was the fact its sum was the entirety of Arsenal’s reported transfer budget.
On the face of it, that would suggest Arsenal were simply going all-in on Zaha and hoping for the best – but let’s face it, in today’s market, a player of Zaha’s quality could be considered cheap at that price.
And with Crystal Palace’s apparent unwillingness to let him go, especially just after allowing Aaron Wan-Bissaka to leave for £50m, there is logic in placing Arsenal’s bid under the ‘derisory’ column.
The Times’ Oliver Kay was clearly all too aware of this when he branded the bid ‘a joke’ on Twitter, and while he may have a point when it comes to the unrealistic hope of Palace selling for a fee so low(ish), there is surely an argument to be made that as negotiations go, £40m is merely a starting point for Arsenal:
Not wishing to defend the crazy fees demanded and paid in transfer market, but Arsenal’s £40m opening bid for Zaha is … a joke, really. #CPFC valued him at more than £40m in 2017. Two yrs later, in this market, with 3 yrs on contract, you’d do well to get him for less than £70m
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) July 2, 2019
Of course, there is the instant contradiction that any progression on £40m would see Arsenal spend beyond their means, and with little money accrued to boost funds so far this summer, amassing enough cash through sales looks unlikely to be enough to tempt Palace if their reported £120m(!) price tag is to be believed.
Since The Gunners’ initial ‘joke’ of a bid is the first we’ve heard of in terms of a Zaha approach, surely the club have something else up their sleeves – is that not how negotiations work?