BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Monaco could be set to make a January move for Wilfried Zaha – with the French club’s sporting director Michael Emenalo watching the Ivory Coast international on Saturday.
The former Chelsea technical director was in the stands to watch Palace win 1-0 at Huddersfield. Zaha, back from injury, popped up with the only goal.
Any deal for the 25-year-old would be hugely costly. The former Eagles academy product was the subject of fierce national newspaper speculation in the summer – with Tottenham and Chelsea both linked – but put pen to paper on a new five-year contract in the middle of August.
Monaco do have money to spend after PSG signed Kylian Mbappe for a fee in excess of £120m.
That was not their only major sales with winger Thomas Lemar joining Atletico Madrid for £63m while Fabinho was snapped up by Liverpool for £40m.
Palace have always resisted interest in their talismanic attacker, whose value has rocketed since returning to the SE25 outfit from Manchester United on a permanent basis in the summer of 2015. Zaha is the Eagles’ all-time top scorer in the Premier League with 25 goals in 147 outings. He has also accrued 16 assists.
Last season he scored nine goals in 29 starts for Palace – comfortably his best scoring return in the top flight – but has managed three in his opening four fixtures in the current campaign, aided by the fact that manager Roy Hodgson has often played him in a striking role.
Whether Monaco would be an attraction to Zaha also leaves a question mark. They are 15th in Ligue 1 and lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League at Stade Louis II on Tuesday.
Palace have contacted the Premier League over the rough treatment that Zaha receives from the opposition. Only Eden Hazard has been fouled more in the Premier League since 2013.