KEY POINTS

  • Barcelona's chances to re-sign Neymar are getting slimmer with PSG firm with its price offer
  • Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha is emerging as a potential alternative for Barca in the transfer market
  • Zaha has expressed his desire to leave the Premier League club to "find some pastures new"

The chances of Neymar going back to Barcelona are getting slimmer as Paris Saint-Germain stays firm on their demand price for the Brazilian superstar. Strained by financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, the Catalans could be left with no other choice but to search for other options in place of their former reliable forward, and one viable alternative that has emerged is Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.

Barca is likely to take advantage of the Ivory Coast international, who has communicated his demand to leave the Premier League club to search for “pastures new” after his intended transfer to Arsenal last year did not come into fruition.

“Wilf has made it clear, ever since I came to the club really, that he would relish a move and would like to move on and find some pastures new,” said the Eagles head coach Roy Hodgson, via the Goal.

Zaha, who also had a previous three-year stint with Manchester United, has made a good account of himself since returning to the Selhurst Park in 2015 as he turned himself into one of the most efficient attacking players for the team.

“He’s a very valuable player and the club realizes his value and appreciates his value and so really everything will depend I guess  – as it always does – (on) what sort of offers the club is going to receive for him and how they will equate that with the need to keep him or the need, maybe, to satisfy his wishes, and allow him to go after giving good service to the club for a period of time,” the 72-year-old manager added.

On the Blaugrana’s part, signing Zaha is still deemed as a potent addition for Quique Setien, whose aggressive pursuit of Neymar is most likely to fail.

Aaditya Sibal of Everything Barca wrote: “Signing Zaha from Crystal Palace would help Barca fill the void of players such as Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.  This transfer will also help remove the need to bring Neymar back to Spain over this transfer window.”

With a handful of players expected to leave Camp Nou in the summer, acquiring the Ivorian could make the transition easier for the Catalans’ side as they aim for a better season next year.

Wilfried Zaha England international Wilfried Zaha has scored five goals and contributed five assists for Crystal Palace this season.  Photo: Reuters