Crystal Palace have admitted defeat in their efforts to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha this summer, as the Eagles begin exploring replacements for the Ivorian with a bid lodged for Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr.
The winger submitted a transfer request on Wednesday in an effort to force a move away from south London, although Palace had keen to retain the 26-year-old unless their £80m valuation was met.
21-year-old Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr - a lot to unpack:— Get French Football News (@GFFN) August 8, 2019
- Crystal Palace made a bid yesterday
- Watford have in recent hours opened talks for Steven Bergwijn (PSV)
- L'Équipe: Palace have decided to sell Wilfried Zaha & will up their bid for Sarr
Linked with a move to Watford this summer, L'Equipe (via GFFN) report that Sarr's camp were all-but assured that a move to the Hornets would materialise ahead of deadline day after Javi Gracia's side tabled a €30m bid with €5m in add ons, however, this was before Palace swooped in with an offer of their own after agreeing to sell Zaha.
Now, Rennes chiefs are apparently taking the Eagles 'very seriously' as they push for a deadline day move. The French side are looking for close to €40m for the 21-year-old, who impressed in Ligue 1 last season after netting eight goals and registering six assists. It's added in the report that Roy Hodgson's side will up their original offer of around €30m in a bid to land the winger.
Given the nature of the reports it would appear as if Palace have stolen a march on Watford, with it also mentioned that the Hornets have now opened talks with PSV Eindhoven's Steven Bergwijn, all-but signalling an admittance of defeat from their part.
Due to Palace's stance of Zaha softening, that opens the door for favourites Everton to swoop in with a deal. Arsenal were originally the front runners for the Ivorian, with two bids being knocked back earlier in the window, although the club-record signing of Nicolas Pepe indicates they have bolstered their ranks enough up front, with defenders now their priority.
The Toffees do have a plan B in place though, according to Football Insider, as they too hold an interest in PSV's Bergwijn. A bid was already lodged and subsequently rejected for Alex Iwobi on Wednesday, as Marco Silva looks desperate to add some quality in wide areas ahead of the 5pm deadline.
Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands is a big admirer of Bergwijn after working with him during his time in the Netherlands and it is claimed he would use his connections at the Dutch club to try and set up a late move for the pacy forward.