Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Ornstein: Palace ‘incensed’ by ham-fisted Arsenal bid

Arsenal’s chances of signing Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace appear to be slim with the Eagles furious at what they perceive to be a sub-par bid and interference behind the scenes to destabilise the player.

The Gunners offered £40m yesterday, while the South Londoners value the Ivory Coast international at £80m. The bid was accompanied shortly afterwards by a statement from Zaha’s brother who urged Palace accommodate the player’s desire to leave for a club he’s supported all his life and play European football.

However, reporting for the BBC, David Orstein says that Palace are ‘incensed’ at the bid and a ‘ham-fisted’ attempt to use Zaha’s desire to join Arsenal as a way of forcing a move from Selhurst Park.

The report says, “Palace believe Arsenal’s method in this case is outdated and naive.

“They have no intention of lowering their valuation and are confident that Zaha’s relationship with the club is long-standing and strong enough to ensure he resumes his duties without a problem if a move does not come to fruition.”

So, the question is now how far are Arsenal willing to go to make this happen? If the belief that underhand tactics might work in our favour, that seems to have backfired, and the fact that Zaha signed a new contract last summer gives Palace plenty of strength in negotiations.

We could offer player or players as part of a deal, but it remains to be seen if they even want anyone we’re prepared to offer. We clearly can’t pay £80m either, so maybe the best thing to do is cut our losses and go after a more achievable target.

David also reports via his Twitter that while a deal is still possible between Arsenal and Celtic for Kieran Tierney, Napoli may have the upper hand as they also target the Scottish international left-back.

Fun times for Raul Sanllehi and his motley recruitment crew.

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Coming up next: Zaha’s team-mates pulling Arsenal shirt over Zaha at AFCON.


It almost feels like that has already happened for some funny reason lol


Honestly Palace are delusional if they think Zaha will just “resume his duties without a problem”. Even Auba skipped training at Dortmund to force his move to Arsenal.

They knew Zaha wanted to leave, which is why they desperately tried to get Utd to remove the sell-on clause when they were negotiating for Wan-Bissaka.

They should be kicking themselves for agreeing to that clause in the first place.


As I commented on another post, an opening bid of £40M is about right for Zaha in my opinion considering we will go back in for at least one or two more bids. Well you’d think so otherwise it was literally pointless tabling the initial £40M as Palace were always going to turn that down. I think we will need to get closer to at least £50-55M to get him. Palace know that literally nobody is ever going to meet their evaluation and pay £80M for him, not when he is 26 and has already been deemed not good enough… Read more »

Dave Hyland

Raul, is that you?

Dave M

£40M Is ham-fisted?! The world has gone mad. Can’t believe that isn’t an acceptable bid. No wonder I’m losing interest in football…


80mil got you Ronaldo just 10 years ago.


We still don’t know who this “Ornstein” guy is. Probs a Russian bot.

Cliff Bastin

Exactly. Who died and made him oracle?

DB10s Air Miles

Are you actually being serious? He reports for the BBC ffs!


Or so he/she/it would have you believe.

His name is an anagram of “avoids tinder”. Why would he avoid tinder? Because he’s made of wires and Russian propaganda.

Get the Stank Out

that is some quality content


Sarcasm is wasted on you my friend.

Albert Lang

Anyone know why we aren’t going for Nabil Fekir. Has been amazing the last 3 years for Lyon. In his last year of his contract so we should have a good chance of signing him…


Because his knees are a total mess? LFC would have something to say about that…

Albert Lang

I was wondering why we aren’t looking at Nabil Fekir. He has a good track record at the Lyon and would be available due to his contract situation. Would love to see him at Arsenal..

Alan Bury

Mom’s spaghetti


You r right. A quality Ramsey replacement. Yes, health issues, but if we want top quality in our current situation there has to be something a bit off in the players situation for us to get him. In Zaha’s case he’s a fan. In Fekir’s case he’s had an off year/injury risk. In Lacazette’s case Athletico had a transfer ban. In Auba’s case Dortmund had upset him letting his Real dream move go etc… We have to cherry pick special situations to survive.


Ahh the old “I’ve always been a fan of club x, now that they are talking about signing me ‘ ploy. Honestly, do people really still believe this nonsense, which is trotted out by any player about any club whenever they’re looking to move? When he eventually moves to Aston Villa at the age if 30 he’ll describe it as “his dream move” and tell anybody who’ll listen that he’s always wanted to play there. Read book, seen movie, bought t shirt.

Toure Motors

Looks like our fat Spanish Austin Powers lookalike has lost his mojo

Fat Spanish Austin Powers

Síííí baaaaby!

Spanish Gooner

Judge him at the end of the window.


Wenger used to always say “Judge me at the end if the season” – and that’s usually didn’t turn out too well either. I’m trying to keep faith in this club but it’s not fucking easy is it?


No it certainly isn’t.

But in this instance I am with Palace. From their end it looks like Arsenal are being underhand – with his brother chiming in.

I trust this scuppers any prospective deal. He would not be what we need and at almost double our transfer budget, it would be insane to pursue this.

We should be moving to get Tierney in and then a centre back ; if not two.

Signing Zaha whilst we still leak 50 goals a season is bonkers ?


This is the alexis sanchez situation and fortunately for us we will be benefitting for a change, there is honestly nothing palace can do, same with us and sanchez that year.

Juan Cornetto

He’s got arsenal dna dmanit.


£40 mil is a decent opening offer. £80 mill for Zaha is lunacy. A deal around £50-55 would be more than honest. Hope it happens.


they can hold out on the 80m fee all they want. highly doubt anyone will buy at that price and then they’ll be forced to sell for cheaper and/or lose him on a free when he runs out his contract.

Q3 Technique

He just signed a new contract so that’s not happening any time soon. TBH why did he sign a new contact of he wanted to leave. Obviously hasn’t only just changed his mind about wanting to leave!


He signed a new contract and had a really good season. 10 goals and 5 assists. Nothing that justifies £80 mil. Now there is the buyer who wants to buy at the lowest, the seller who wants to sell at the highest and the real market value which no one knows but anywhere between 50 and 60 for a player who knows and perform in the league seems appropriate. It would be interesting to see if we manage to lend our target. The player has also a role to play, as an employee if someone comes and poach me and… Read more »


I believe we’ve been made aware that despite certain that contract, a clause is within it if a particular club of his choosing make a formal offer for him. With this being included I believe that’s why he proceeded with signing the contract.

Only time will tell. But Palace know deep down that he will eventually force this move.


He’s contracted til 2023 but that’s Palace only advantage here. When a player wants one club and one club only, the buying club are under no obligation to offer an absurd fee. That’s how it works.

The fans and media outlets currently overdosing on Arsenal-related negativity will be negative about this Zaha chase whatever happens. If we sign him for 80m they’d lambast the clubl for being financially irresponsible. So Arsenal should just stick to our guns and bid what we value the player at, instead of contributing to the already absurd over-inflation of the Premier League transfer market.


Agreed – leave the bid at 40 (which is what he’s worth, not a Suarez-pound more!), feel juvenile and good about punching Palace in the ribs, and continue the summer transfer business. We haven’t done anything wrong here; just submitting a bid for a player we value at a particular level. We just better make sure we beat Palace this season on the pitch, twice.


This is how warped the game is at the moment.

Now the “mature” thing for clubs to do is pretend they’re Man City or PSG and simply pay whatever dumbass figure clubs are asking.

Hazard went to Madrid for 80m ffs. You want us to just hand that over for Zaha? Behave.

Wilsheres Middle Finger

Hazard was closing in on the end of his contract though. Palace have zero pressure to sell from a contractual and financial standpoint. It’s within their interests to hold out for a crazy fee.


Yeah but it’s not in their interests to demotivate the player who’s been the difference between safety and relegation over the last few seasons.


yeah but clearly they don’t want to sell him.


But they do have Roy Hodgson on the scene for negotiations. The man who once paid physical cash to bring Paul Konchesky to his team. Let’s see how this plays out


I think if we are able to fork out 40-50 GBP for him we should try to lure Nicolas Pepe instead. He is younger, left footed, he has more goals, more assists in him (see: previous 2 seasons) and his natural position is on the left – an absolute deficiency in our squad.

Uba Ngenegno

Will not pay more than £45million for Zaha.
Inconsistent at best; and a diver to boot.
There are good wingers out there for £30 million or less if only our scouts will earn their pay.

John Mavroudis

If the Clown Car occupants in charge can’t manage to bring in a decent backline (ie: much better than Mustafi) there’s going to be a lot more internet grilling to come… and see how much THAT will devalue your investment, Kroenke.

Get your shit together!


We’re a fucking joke of a club at the moment. The damage that has been done will take decades to undo.


Oh yes. The lowballing done by Sanhelli now is also down to Gazidis I guess according to you. Is Sanhelli Gazidis’ cousin?


If Gazidis has left the coffers dry, players on ridiculous wages, and as a result the club is hamstrung, yeah, it is his fault.


If we offered 60 they would have said the same. 40M is plenty for Zaha


Totally agree, £40 million is a bit much when you look at his stats. The whole market has been fucked by the likes of United and City paying over the odds for dross.


Was Sanlehi at Barca when they signed Cesc from us? These underhand tactics must be the strategy he knows best. Zaha already claiming Arsenal DNA.


Negotiation definately has Raul’s hand prints over it. To be honest, it’s not a bad play, especially since we can always just walk away without the pure necessity to sign him (other areas actually vital). Offer £40mil early and anchor a more reasonable figure, doesn’t matter if they get wound up. They’ll get over it by deadline day after a protracted will-he-won’t-he saga fucks up their preseason preparations. I know they don’t need the money, but the players head is turned and he only wants one destination. This is all just groundwork for a deadline day move people, classic Sanhelli… Read more »


I don’t understand how it’s been over a month since the season ended and we haven’t sold anyone or bought anyone. How has nothing happened at all. What a joke.


European transfer window just opened. July 1. It’s literally only been one day.

And If you’re actively shopping with just the EPL market open you’re guaranteed to overpay because you’ve got no “other options” leverage.

Papa Large, big shot in North London

Nice move by Arsenal, come in with an offer that has no chance of being accepted and let the market know we’ve got more money to spend than previously advertised. Now if we can figure out a way of driving down the price of the players we want to flog off.


Not really though… we would pay in installments so we may well still make a purchase at this value and keep to the limitations of our total spend this actual summer. Would obviously contribute to being offset against future budgets but all of this is variable based on who we can sell and at what price.


80 mil o.sl. absolutely not worth imo

Boom Xhaka Laca

Awaiting Raul’s next bid of £40,000,001…


£40m + Chambers seems fair to me


and realistic, I should add


Prestige would rather keep Chambers as he is a solid central defender and as shown last season can do a good job in midfield. Zaha is entirely overrated and ridiculously overpriced.


Personally not prestige.


I don’t see anything special when I watch Chambers, he just seems passable. Sticking out in that Fulham team should not be overestimated.

I just don’t see him as a long term option within the team, and if Palace are still interested he seems the logical makeweight if we really want Zaha and to avoid spending more than 40m, in my opinion


Overpriced yes. Overrated no. He drastically improves us offensively and defensively. Teams will drop off and not force a press when you have his direct running to contend with.


Solid central defender who can do a good job – in the Championship League. We’ve seen neither to the Arsenal level we require in the PL yet.

But I agree on Zaha.


Incensed, wait till Raul offers 40,000,001. Light the blue touch paper and stand well back.


Palace might as well ask, “I wonder what those guys are smoking up there in North London


I’m wondering what palace are smoking tbh

Thierry Bergkamp

To be fair to Crystal Palace, Arsenal did value Mustafi at £35,000,000

A Gorilla

Terrible idea all round, he’s not great and would take opportunities to improve promising young players like Nelson. Spend it on a very good cb or Ramsey replacement. Or a time machine back to pre-Kroenke and Gazidis.


To minimise Man utd’s cut – palace should sell us Zaha for 1 pound and Mamadou Sakho for say 45 million Then we loan Sahko back to them for 3 seasons. Palace get 44,999,999.80 and united get 20p In fairness to Arsenal – 40 million is still enough to put you in the top 45 transfers of all time and for a player who previously failed at a top club. In probable fairness to Arsenal: Zaha is probably a stalking horse to get ryan frazers price down a few quid. Hopefully we will take notice of clubs like crystal palace… Read more »


No doubt it would be deemed “illegal”, but i see no reason why they cannot do something like that.

Danger Mouse

Ha ha. Brilliant idea. Can we ditch Raul and get Double 98 in there instead. He’d terrify them with that scary clown mask too.


Absolute genius. Edu should create an advisory role for you


Nice way to stick it to manU but don’t the players and agents get a piece of the transfer fee?


Arsenal fan base need to stop caring about other clubs getting upset. It’s just like our obsession with wages or undervaluing any player we are selling. Every club does the same. Liverpool did the same to us for the Ox. The summer Chelsea played us for along for their unwanted striker. Man city and countless players. I am all for a little sh**housery. It’s about time and long may it continue.

Gooner Sam

So Gazidas is gone but the incompetence continues…


Give palace ozil…mustafi…elneny….jenkinson…mikhitaryan +40M ?


We’d still owe them 80m.


As an opening bid, seems perfectly reasonable and if CP are going to assume faux outrage and start trying to embarrass Arsenal by briefing Orstein (who should know better) then they can sod off. There are equally as good players out there for £40m, even in this ridiculously over inflated market (not that I have much faith in the existing management team to identify and/or acquire them).


That seems to be the way things are in the transfer window for us this year. Faux outrage when we come in with a perfectly reasonable opening offer.

Just because United and City have stupid money to spend i don’t see why that suddenly means everybody is worth 2x as much

50m ish is probably about right


The problem is, such is the level of (largely justifiable) distrust amongst our fanbase, that even when Arsenal make a reasonable bid, other teams know that all they have to do is accuse us of lowballing and/or incompetence and we all line up with it. Not to mention the press, who’ve always enjoyed characterising Arsenal as a bit of a joke (again, we’ve done our best to make it easy for them in recent years). Thus, putting the pressure fully back on Arsenal in any negotiation is laughably easy at the moment, including for that bunch of sanctimonious twats at… Read more »


This is all true


I know this is going to happen.

Last night, many Arsenal fans are too “high” to face the truth.

Palace won’t let Zaha go that easy. He is valued 80-100 mil and Sanllehi has just made a bid of 40 mil? Nah, not gonna happen.

Seriously, i am tired of this bullsh*t. We ain’t that poor. Look at Spurs, they are sealing Ndombele for 63 mil. What a beast! Their new stadium is worth 1 billion and they can still spend in this summer!

Again, I still believe we ain’t that poor. Something is fishy with that m*ron Kroenke!

Bob Holdy

How about 40,000,001, Ozil and one of those suitcases with a built-in phone charger


I’m getting the feeling that Ozil will play a big part in Arsenal next season. That is if he is still here, for it would be irresponsible to pay someone so much for doing nothing. I hope that we can get maximum use from Ozil if he is there next season.
Getting the feeling that Emery will be just holding Freddie’s hand for a while(season?) then he exits.


It’s like asking out a girl way out of your league. You know it’s never going to happen but ask her out anyway just for fun.


He’s not out of our league at all.
Who’s running in and swooping the deal at anywhere near their asking price?

Perry Groves World

Shambles of a situation. We should have offered another penny to go “the full Suarez” though

Petit's Handbag

Unable to get players in, linked with everyone, losing out on players to fucking Napoli…..welcome to July 2013 again folks. Flamini will be walking through the door now any day on a free


Tbf, Flamini would probably get more out of Ozil than Emery has managed to so far. He could also fill in at fullback when the Tierney deal falls through (as well as being the box-to-box midfielder replacement for Ramsey, since the Nkunku move isn’t happening).

I’ll be expecting an announcement any day now about how Petit’s Handbag has pipped Cagigao for the role of Head of Recruitment after impressing the board with this comprehensive Flamini-based cost-cutting strategy.

Petit's Handbag

An actual Handbag would have cash in it to spend in fairness


Not if it were Kroenke’s Arsenal purse ; __ ;


Who would have thought 12th place Palace have a young defender and auxiliary forward worth £130M between the two of them.


Move on, for £50m+ you would get a much better player on the continent


Gonna dig myself a grave. Can somebody please send me a push notification when Kroenke has left the club?

Pablo pomreas

I reckon 40 mil is too much for this dude. Maybe we should say we value Mustafi at 60mil and someone might give us 30


Even though we really need a left back, I can’t say I’d be disappointed on missing out on Tierney, he’s missed 250+ days over the last 3 seasons. Palace can be as incensed all they want, I’d love us to buy Zaha, but he’s not worth anymore than £50-£55 million, even in this market. They can either dig their heels in with a frown on their faces? Keeping a player who’s unhappy and doesn’t want to be there, or they can give us a more realistic quote and put this situation to bed. Looking at the history of clubs keeping… Read more »


Give Palace 50m plus 10m in add ons if we qualify for Champions league, throw in Corporal Jenko and get this deal over with…If they Object, they can keep him…. simple!!!!


I’m certain that Raul and co knew for sure that the offer would be rejected, it’s an opening move in a long battle to drive the price down. Put enough pressure on Palace so that they will eventually settle for 50-60 millions (or 40 + Chambers). I hope it happens but yeah, they can forget about getting 80 millions for him.


Incensed! What little drama-queens they are. We’ve had it happen to us so many times in the past, this is almost pay-back time. Isn’t that how negotiations work? They have a starting bid, we have a starting bid and the two parties meet somewhere in the middle (unless you’re Man Utd and you just go with the opponents starting bid).


They’re not incensed. Palace are virtue signalling to their fans so that when they sell at 50M they can call the player a Judas and claim it was out of their hands.


No problem with us pulling out the dirty tricks to land top talent. God knows we’ve been on the receiving end. Hopefully its a sign we are willing to be more ruthless.

Ambazonian Gunner

Could we just throw in Özil as a sweetener?


Is Ornstein paying blogs to post his opinion? because this guy is so passive aggressive with the whole ‘incensed’ line, like our bid is anything but respectful. The bid will start at 40, Palace will ask for 80 and we will say no Ronaldo, Hazard, Lukaku with crazy high numbers of goals and VD went for 80….Zaha is realistically worth 45-50 but he wants Arsenal because he’s an Arsenal fan and hes going to be forcing the move. We have already pleaded poverty so it’s understandable. CP will prob ask for a loan from us and we might even give… Read more »


Seems odd to expend so much on one player. 40m is too high. Not sure what we are trying to achieve. Ziyech and Carrasco rumoured to be just over 30m mark. Plus reports (rumours of course) that Fekir is now available for 30m + too. Don’t see the point in getting Zaha at 40m when we have to spend in other areas as well. Palace can keep him. There are so many options and we can afford to play off the sellers. Everton, Neres, Lozano, Thauvin also good options. Pepe still available. Prices should cool off as we enter end… Read more »


i know its a bit leftfield but buy no one sell no one and promote youth in to team this season and let Unia work a system that builds towards us being successful not this season or the next, hard to take as we will take a few pastings but we need to look at the bigger picture, our opposition know we are suckers in the transfer market not to mention our wages paid to players not earning it so we can’t move on, in 2 years time a lot of the dross can go and get them off the… Read more »


Seems ridiculous we don’t offer a player to say Ajax who are in danger of being shelled hollow this summer. We could offer Mavro or Nektiah or Willock or Sako out on loan with them in exchange for a cut price for Ziyech. Or for Fekir for the matter (if spurious rumours are anywhere true that Aulus has cut his price to 30m plus). Why are we bending over backwards at 40m for Zaha. Makes no sense and sounds a bit desperate considering the number of options out there. Again, we lack a seasoned technical director of the likes of… Read more »


Mslintat was hit and miss. He went for low hanging fruit largely and with little consult to the real needs of the squad. BUT we haven’t even replaced him properly. Instead Raul (great contract negotiator with Ramsey) was what Director of football relations…whatever that meant at Barca. And Caggagio probably a good scout but he has a huge learning curve since scouting is very different from nudging deals across the line and timing them to max benefit. Then apparently we want to add Edu into the mix. What’s his experience level? Coordinator in the Brazil National squad. You don’t have… Read more »


Y should we help Palace out, nobody has ever helped us out. The player wants to come we want to buy him, 40m is a decent offer and we are not psg chelsea or man city or utd, y would we ever spend 80m.


Classic Dog Bites Man news story title. Next page has “Old Man Finds Himself Challenged by Gravity and Rude Teenagers”.


My main takeaway from this is that Zaha is an idiot. There have been rumors all year that he’d like to join a bigger club and now him and his brother are pushing for a move to Arsenal. If that’s the case, then why did he sign a FIVE year extension last summer? Surely that makes any move out of Palace more difficult. He should have pulled a Ramsey/Sanchez/Ozil/Welbeck and refuse to sign a new contract. That would give him power. He’s made the choice to make a few bub more than he had been and now he’s crying about… Read more »


Seriously I’ve never understood why a club should be “incensed” at a bid (well apart from the 40m + 1£ Suarez bid. It is business isn’t it? You either accept the bid or reject it. Or maybe they want to drive up the price which they’re totally entitled to do. It’s their player after all. But the new media concept of “derisory bids” is rubbish really and annoying.


Players forcing a move to happen while under contract & earning crazy money is slowly killing the sport &club identity. I will never support such tactics. I can see lower league football flourishing as a more genuine heart and identity fan experience, free from money hungry glory hunting players & agents.


Arsenal know we can put pressure on Palace if Zaha and family start making noises. Palace know they can put pressure on Arsenal if they get the fans to believe we are putting in joke bids, so they put the message out that they are “”incensed””. A lot of fans are falling for it hook, line and sinker. Football365 and other publications are not helping either, to be honest. Maybe a quick look at transfermarkt.co.uk from time-to-time might help with a little perspective. For example, Ndombele rated at 58.5m, sold to Sp*rs for 55. Zaha, rated by Palace at 80-120m… Read more »


Zaha at the expense of losing Laca/Auba = Terrible
Zaha at the expense of losing other players like Mustafi / Chambers / Ozil = Great


He’s no Kalou though is he.

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