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May 26 2019 10.07pm

Palace stars expected to attract attention this summer

April 23 2019

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha

With four Premier League games of the season remaining, thereís still plenty to play for at both ends of the table, writes Ben Blake.

Manchester City and Liverpool are locked in a battle for the title, while Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd canít all squeeze into the remaining places in the top-four, meaning two will suffer the agony of a season without Champions League football.

At the other end of the charts, we know Huddersfield and Fulham have already been relegated to the Championship, leaving Brighton and Cardiff in a fight to avoid filling 18th position. Palace have lacked the consistency needed to haul themselves into midtable, but 42 points in the bag ensures they are safe from the threat of the drop.

The Eagles secured their seat at the top-table for the 2019/20 season thanks to spring-time wins over Burnley, Huddersfield, Newcastle United and Arsenal. Manager Roy Hodgson knows much work has to be done in the summer if the Londoners are to improve, but his stars are working well together at present.

Heíll also be well aware his better players are attracting the attention of some free-spending clubs and keeping hold of his big names will be just as important as bringing in reinforcements during the transfer window.

One man who is a regular in the gossip columns at this time of year is Ivory Coast born goalscorer Wilfried Zaha. The 26-year-old has racked up nine goals and three assists this term, leaving him second in the club scorer charts behind teammate Luka Milivojevic on 12 goals.

Far from his most successful season in front of goal, but his talents havenít gone unnoticed and the former Manchester United finisher has been linked with a big money move back to the Theatre of Dreams. No deal has been made, as of yet, but itís likely Zaha would welcome a second chance at United, having failed to set the heather alight first time.

Other tabloid journalists would have you believe Palaceís assassin is poised to leave English football, with reports in January saying Borussia Dortmund were prepared to break the bank to get their man. It came to nothing, but could the Bundesliga side be tempted to renew their interests when the window swings back open?

Zaha has never disguised his desire to play Champions League football, and heíll get that at Westfalenstadion. But to land Zaha, BVB boss Lucien Favre would be forced to pay Palace a hefty sum, as well as bettering the playerís wages, thought to be in the region of £130,000 a week. Itís also worth remembering Wilfried is tied to Selhurst Park until 2023, having signed a new contract back at the start of the season.

Another man, usually found at the opposite end of the park to Zaha, who has been whispered to be on the move is English defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The 21-year-old from Croydon has featured heavily under Hodgson this season and has repaid the faith shown in him by his manager with some eye-catching performances, but the right-back may be on the move.

Capped at under 20 and under 21 level for England, the rising star has slotted in effortlessly and played an influential part in a defence that kept a number of clean-sheets this year already, including against Wolves, Tottenham, Fulham, Huddersfield and Newcastle.

That successful breakthrough season has been noticed by a few other Premier League managers, including Man Utd gaffer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a young boss who has a reputation for giving youth a chance.

If United are to sign the wonderkid they will have to beat rivals Man City to his signature, with the Citizens also said to be showing an interest. According to certain red top newspapers, Pep Guardiola took a real shine to Wan-Bissaka following Crystal Palaceís stunning 3-2 win over the champions back in December at the Etihad.

Schlupp, Townsend and Milivojevic scored to better replies from Gundogan and De Bruyne that day, but Wan-Bissaka did his bit, playing an important part in the build-up to his sideís final goal.

You can have your say on potential summer deals at the club using the exciting transfer specials on a number of major online bookmakers and betting apps, but who are the men expected to arrive in the coming weeks and months?

Leicester Cityís Shinji Okazaki is just one rumoured to be sizing up a move to SE25. The Japan international will leave the Foxes on a free transfer this summer but itís thought he wonít be going too far, with Palace offering the 32-year-old a chance to stay and fight for his future in English football. Fans must be patient on that one.

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