The Eagles Join Hunt For Dwight McNeil As Replacement For Zaha
Crystal Palace have identified Burnley’s England U21 international Dwight McNeil as their preferred long-term successor to Wilfried Zaha. Although bigger clubs including Everton and Manchester United have been monitoring 20-year-old McNeil, Palace hope the offer of regular first-team football coupled with a handsome increase on his current Clarets salary will help them secure the highly-rated winger.
Palace are one of the few clubs who will be able to take advantage of a buyers’ market when the transfer window reopens having held onto the £50 million they collected from Manchester United for Aaron Wan-Bissaka last year. McNeil has already played more than 50 Premier League games even though he doesn’t turn 21 until November.
He is aware several clubs have been watching his progress but it’s unclear any of the Big Six will transfer their interest into a firm bid and provide a quick pathway into the first team. Crystal Palace held onto Zaha against the player’s wishes last summer, but there is an understanding he would be allowed to leave this year if an acceptable bid was received.
But even if deflation in the transfer market means Zaha stays another season at Selhurst Park, there is a strong possibility they will try to land McNeil before other clubs. Manager Sean Dyche has previously stated he thinks McNeil is in the reckoning for a full England cap. Though the size of transfer fees post-Coronavirus are unclear, he would ordinarily be expected to fetch in excess of £30 million.