Sam Allardyce desperate for Wilfried Zaha to sign new Crystal Palace deal
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 14/04/17 3:45pm
Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce insists everyone at the club is hoping winger Wilfried Zaha signs a new contract to stay for "a long period of time".
Zaha came through the youth system at Palace to flourish in the first team before earning a £15m transfer to Manchester United in January 2013.
The 24-year-old returned to Palace on loan ahead of the 2014-15 season, before signing permanently with the Eagles on the final day of the 2015 January transfer window.
"We'd all love Wilf [Zaha] to be at Crystal Palace for a long period of time," Allardyce said ahead of Palace's clash with Leicester City on Saturday.
"Hopefully he signs a new deal in the summer."
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Though Zaha arrived on a five-and-a-half-year deal in February 2015, both Allardyce and Palace chairman Steve Parish have admitted they intend to open contract talks with the 24-year-old over fresh terms.
During the week, Allardyce revealed that Zaha exiting the club was a possibility, but one he hoped would not come to fruition.
"Wilf, us and the clubs that want him will decide his future in the end," Allardyce said. "There is always a point where it may be impossible to turn down what is offered. That is realistic.
"Hopefully, we do not get to that point for a long time but it may be a possibility. Because it is a rare talent. There should be another 20 or 30 young Wilfried Zahas across the country. However, we do not develop enough so foreign players have to come in and take their places.
"Who knows [how much Zaha is worth]? The Premier League has got bigger competition than ever before. It is called China. Now the Chinese are looking at the younger ones and are paying bigger money than the Premier League has ever paid out to entice them to go to China. So who knows what the market forces will bring in terms of the price."
Parish has insisted he is confident Zaha will stay at Selhurst Park, though, while former team-mate Yannick Bolasie recently likened him to Barcelona star Neymar.
Palace currently sit 16th in the Premier League table, six points clear of the relegation places after a run of six wins from seven games, but Allardyce has warned his side not to get carried away.
"Now it is about keeping away all this 'well, you're safe now' because we aren't and making sure we don't slip up again tomorrow like we slipped up against Southampton after Chelsea," Allardyce added.
"So the euphoria and joy about beating one of the big six in the Premier League, for me there can be no aftermath like there was after Chelsea for us and a complete focus on Leicester tomorrow and try secure, if we possibly can, another three points.
"We are playing a team in exceptionally good form, like ourselves, who are champions of the Premier League, who are in the quarter finals of the Champions League, so it is just as difficult a game tomorrow, and maybe even more difficult a game tomorrow, than Chelsea and Arsenal, but certainly as difficult, I think."