Wilfried Zaha admits he could leave Crystal Palace in the New Year.
The 20-year-old is regarded as one of the finest young talents in the game, and his form was rewarded with an international cap for England in November. Twelve months ago the forward signed a new contract which was designed to keep him at Selhurst Park until the summer of 2016, but the Eagles could struggle to keep him beyond this January.
Although Palace are in a good position to launch a bid for promotion in the New Year, Zaha appears impatient to get to the Premier League and is prepared to meet them there next season. And with a host of clubs, including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and the two Manchester sides, keen on his signature, he could get his wish when the window reopens.
“I’m not a teenager anymore,” The Ivory-Coast born ace told the Mail on Sunday. “I’ve played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career. I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football.
“I’ve played a lot in the Championship so having that new challenge in the Premier League, where everyone wants to be, would be great. To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it’s something I’d want to go for.
“Some of my friends, who play in the Premier League, joke around and ask me what is taking me so long. I just tell them I will be there at some stage. I’ve done a lot of learning in the Championship. Now I’m ready for the Premier League.”
Palace are fourth place in the table and four points adrift of automatic promotion. Zaha, should he stay, is likely to play a key role in their push up the table in 2013, but should their valuation of £20million be met in January, they would find it difficult to block a transfer.