Chelsea are interested in a deal for Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
The Ivory Coast international is back on the radar at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel attempts to significantly bolster his attacking ranks before the summer window shuts for business at 11pm BST on September 1.
Zaha has been frustrated in his attempts to secure a big-money move away from Selhurst Park over recent years, with Arsenal among the clubs to have chased his signature and come close to a deal in 2019, but has now entered the final 12 months of his current Palace contract.
However, while Chelsea do look to have revived their interest in the 29-year-old, Standard Sport understands that they are still expected to try and complete deals for Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Everton attacker Anthony Gordon this week first.
The expectation remains that both players will seal their proposed moves before the deadline as protracted negotiations continue, though Zaha represents a potentially intriguing late alternative if not.
The former Manchester United winger has enjoyed a strong start to the new Premier League season, notching a brace in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa last weekend having also scored in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
But Zaha missed Saturday’s clash at the Etihad Stadium as Palace squandered a 2-0 lead in a 4-2 defeat by champions Manchester City, with Palace boss Patrick Vieira initially coy on his situation before insisting that he is carrying a knee problem.
“The issue is with (Zaha) is the knee,” he told the BBC on Saturday. “We left it to the last minute and of course yesterday he tried, but he was too short for the game today.”
Arsenal have once again been linked with a swoop for Zaha late in this window, with the high-flying Gunners on the lookout for another wide option after allowing record signing Nicolas Pepe to leave on loan for Nice.
Addressing the future of his key player last week, Vieira suggested that his future remained in south London.
“He’s been fantastic since I’ve been in the football club on and off the field,” the Frenchman said. “I think he’s taken responsibility, he’s a mature player, he’s working every single day to try to improve, and he’s been doing well for us.
“Last year when I came over there was a lot of speculation about him, and I think you’re always going to have this conversation in the window because of the quality of player he is, so we just have to deal with it.
“We started the season really well, he wanted to do really well and I see him every day in training. When the team is playing well obviously he is one of the talented players who is always going to shine.
“We are talking about how we want to play the game and how he can improve his goalscoring and do well for the squad and for the team. He is an important player on and off the field.
“I think you can see the love that the fans show him every week. He came through the system, he loves being at this football club, and there is no reason why that should change.”