Reports today suggest that Roberto Mancini will start the bidding in January with a £15 million offer for The Arsenal transfer target, Wilfried Zaha. If this is true, then we will have to wait and see whether Arsene Wenger will be given the money to compete with Manchester City, and whether Crystal Palace will stick to their word and rebuff any offers.
The news that Arsenal have signed a lucrative new sponsorship deal with Emirates airlines means that Wenger will have plenty of money to spend in January, as Ivan Gazidis has promised that the cash will not be swallowed up by the board. Wenger, however, might see anything over £15 million as too much for Zaha, talented though he is. Having money and being willing to blow it are two different things, and Wenger is well known for being a shrewd dealer.
The Sun claims that City have already spoken to Palace about the young player and have offered to seal the deal and let Zaha stay at the Championship club until the end of the season. That is quite a clever tactic, which would allow them to get their man if Palace agree. One of the reasons that Palace have given for refusing to sell is that they are in a good position to push for promotion to the Premier league, which would earn them more than the sale of Zaha.
Palace might think twice before accepting, however, as they know that Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are also keen. They might want to let the clubs try to outbid each other, thereby maximising profits, and who can blame them. They might think that they want to keep Zaha if they do win promotion, and they will be able to afford to. Of course, Zaha himself might have a say in where he goes.