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Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is reportedly considering a move to Al-Nassr at the end of the season to link up with Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward is out of contract at the end of the season and showing no signs of penning a new deal with the Eagles.
Zaha has been a key figure for Palace since their promotion to the Premier League in 2013, playing a key role in the relegation battles formerly and now helping the club confirm themselves as a top-flight.
The 30-year-old’s performances and consistently attracted the attention of some of Europe’s top clubs, with Arsenal and Chelsea long-term admirers of the forward, though Palace have always rebuffed interest – despite transfer requests being submitted previously.
Though Patrick Vieira’s side are in no position to prevent Zaha from moving on in the summer when his contract expires, and several teams have already sounded out their interest in the forward. According to the Evening Standard, Al-Nassr are the latest club to throw their hat into the ring, becoming the third Saudi side to show interest in signing the Ivorian.
AC Milan are also ‘seriously interested’ in Zaha, with other Italian sides keen. Palace had hoped that they would be able to convince their No 11 to pen a new deal at Selhurst Park, though it quickly became clear that they would need to find a new marquee forward after several contract extension offers were batted away.
Al-Nassr signed Ronaldo earlier this season as a free agent for numerous reasons, though a key factor behind the decision to fork out a mega two-and-a-half for the former Manchester United hero was because of the talent that he would be able to attract to the Saudi Pro League – and Zaha could be the first of those to be convinced.
Sergio Busquets, Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos are among those tempted to follow in the footsteps of the forward, and the prospect of playing alongside the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is attractive to Zaha – who is mulling over the offer.
Al-Nassr have made it their mission to welcome more marquee players to the league and have the funding available to pay significant fees to ‘high profile’ stars, and they see the Palace icon as a logical recruit to capture the attention of European eyes.
With interest soaring in football in the Middle East, the winger sees a move to Al-Nassr as the ideal way to become one of the poster boys for the league, and he would be rewarded for that with a lucrative contract.
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