Crystal Palace tried to sign a genuine superstar as a Wilfried Zaha replacement, it would have been a crazy move
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Crystal Palace tried to sign a genuine superstar as a Wilfried Zaha replacement this summer, it has been claimed.
While the south Londoners managed to keep hold of the bulk of their most prized assets this summer, including Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi, club talisman Wilfried Zaha turned down a reported club-record £200,000-a-week deal to join Turkish outfit Galatasaray.
In place of Zaha, a product of the Eagles’ academy who went on to become their record Premier League scorer, Palace signed Brazilian 19-year-old Matheus França.
However, the club were also interested in several further options to ease the burden on the Brazilian teenager.
One of the more outlandish links was with Chelsea legend Eden Hazard, who had just completed an ill-fated spell at Real Madrid. Of course, the rumour was dismissed at the time by large sections of the Palace fanbase.
However, amid talk of Hazard hanging up his boots at just 32, Dean Jones insisted that Palace’s interest in the Belgian superstar had been genuine.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, Jones said: "It would not surprise me if Hazard does now retire from football.
“There have been some strong offers for him, even the Crystal Palace one for him to play again in the Premier League was a legit one, but the motivation for him to make a comeback does not seem to be there.
“It’s been a long time since he was playing, he would have to work extremely hard to get back to top condition - meaning actually playing top-level games could take a while.
‘He’s a free agent so clubs that have shown interest have not closed the door, but this is a player that is very self-assured, is not affected by outside noise or behaviours, and will make the decision completely on his own terms."
This week, while discussing his next step after leaving Real Madrid, Hazard dropped a major hint that retirement was on the cards.
The winger said as per GiveMeSport: “Little by little it is time to enjoy life with my family and friends. Drinking a few Jupiler beers."