Crystal Palace plot fresh transfer bid for Wilfried Zaha replacement

Crystal Palace plot fresh transfer bid for Wilfried Zaha replacement

Crystal Palace is gearing up to make a new offer for Matheus Franca from Flamengo as they seek to strengthen their attacking options after Wilfried Zaha’s departure.

Chelsea has also engaged in formal discussions with Flamengo about the highly-rated 19-year-old player, but at present, it seems that Palace is showing greater determination in securing his signature.

Palace’s initial bid, which included add-ons, amounted to £17 million but was turned down by Flamengo earlier in the transfer window. Nevertheless, Palace remains undeterred and is optimistic about finalizing the deal as they work on formulating their second bid.

Flamengo is seeking around £21 million for the attacking midfielder, who has made 59 appearances and scored nine goals for the club since breaking into their first team in 2021.

Newcastle had a £14 million bid rejected during the January transfer window, but their interest has since cooled with the arrival of Anthony Gordon.

While Chelsea could still potentially disrupt Palace’s plans to sign Franca, it seems that they are more inclined to loan the player to their sister club Strasbourg for the upcoming season if an agreement is reached.

Palace intends to integrate Franca quickly into their squad, as they are in need of a refresh following Zaha’s move to Galatasaray.

Additionally, Michael Olise, who sustained a grade-three hamstring injury during the European Championships, is not expected to return to training until September at the earliest.

He is also being pursued by Chelsea and Manchester City, and offers for him could emerge in the final weeks of the summer transfer window.

Palace is also interested in Everton winger Demarai Gray, who is available for the right price. Still, Franca currently tops their list of priorities.

Leeds attacker Crysencio Summerville is also rated by Palace, but Leeds is reluctant to further weaken their squad after a significant clear-out.

Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun has been a subject of background talks, but Palace lacks the financial resources (at least £40 million) required to sign him after his impressive loan spell with Reims in France.

Palace’s sole signing so far this summer has been Jefferson Lerma, a combative midfielder from Bournemouth on a free transfer.

They have also seen the departure of James McArthur, Jack Butland, and former captain Luka Milivojevic after the expiration of their contracts.

In addition, 20-year-old centre-back Chris Francis is set to join from Bournemouth after a loan spell at Weymouth in the National League South last season.

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