Report: Everton out of Zaha sweepstakes

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In a rare move, Everton has reportedly made a public statement to announce its pursuit of Wilfried Zaha is over.

Everton admitted that an undisclosed transfer bid was lodged over the weekend with Crystal Palace, and was subsequently denied. Everton added that any new reports that it would file a new bid, along with sending players such as Cenk Tosun or James McCarthy were false.

Reports have varied across the British press, but according to The Telegraph, Everton’s $67 million transfer bid for Zaha was well below Crystal Palace’s $97.7 million valuation of the English-born winger. Adding players in would in theory help sweeten the deal for Crystal Palace, but manager Roy Hodgson may have decided he just wants cash to go after his own targets, should the club let Zaha move in the next two weeks.

Everton has been willing to mix it up in the transfer market this offseason as it looks to improve its squad. However, it’s only made three first-team signings to this point; confirming Andre Gomes’ transfer from Barcelona, and signing Fabian Delph from Manchester City and Jonas Lossl from Huddersfield Town. The news that Everton will miss out on Zaha is a big blow considering he would have certainly lifted them into top seven contention and potentially, another place in Europe.

At the same time, Everton is on the verge of selling Idrissa Gueye to Paris Saint-Germain, though Everton has been linked with a number of central midfield replacements, including Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.

At the moment, Everton does have some options out wide. There’s Richarlison who can play anywhere along the forward line, along with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Theo Walcott, Bernard and even Kevin Mirallas, who could get a second spell at the club.

Regarding Zaha, it leaves the Ivory Coast international in an interesting conundrum. After initially looking like he would join Arsenal this summer, it appears the Gunners have decided to move forward with Nicolas Pepe, leaving Zaha to look for a new destination. With Everton out, it’s unclear which top-ten club would be willing to spend the money necessary to sign him.

In the end, it could mean another season at Selhurst Park for Zaha.