Tottenham Hotspur's interest in Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha cools after his Ivory Coast commitment

Tottenham are unlikely to spend a club record amount on a player likely to disappear to the African Cup of Nations every other season, with Ross Barkley another key target

Luke Brown
Tuesday 02 May 2017 11:47
Tottenham are long-term admirers of Wilfried Zaha
Tottenham are long-term admirers of Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha’s highly publicised decision to play for the Ivory Coast instead of England has seen Tottenham Hotspur’s interest in the player cool, with Everton’s Ross Barkley emerging as their principal transfer target instead, according to reports.

Mauricio Pochettino is known to be a big fan of Crystal Palace forward Zaha and Tottenham made an offer for the player last summer.

“We had a bid from Spurs but £12m – it’s ridiculous. I can’t imagine that they’re serious,” Palace chairman Steve Parish confirmed in August.

Spurs were believed to be weighing up another offer for Zaha, 24, this summer, however the Telegraph now report that club chairman Daniel Levy is unlikely to sanction a club record breaking offer for a player who will depart for the African Cup of Nations every other season.

Not only would Tottenham have to spend more than the £29.75m they spent on record signing Moussa Sissoko, but they would also have to make Zaha one of their top earners were he to join in the summer.

Palace are preparing to offer the forward a new £110-a-week contract; only £10k more than Tottenham’s top earner, captain Hugo Lloris.

“He did get a new contract last summer,” said Parish. ““Anybody would accept that Wilfried has developed as a player this season. Six goals, nine assists, by far his best tally in the Premier League. So you've got to look at that. As club owners and chairmen, you want to keep everyone happy.”

Spurs are likely to make an offer for England international Barkley this summer

With the prospect of a move for Zaha diminishing, the Telegraph report that Spurs are likely to turn their attentions towards Everton’s Ross Barkley.

The England international is out of contract at the end of next season and manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that he will be sold this summer if he does not agree to extend his current deal.

There had been some concern that Barkley would prove unwilling to leaving the north of England, but Spurs have reportedly received encouragement that he would be open to a move to the capital.

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