Zion Atta left Crystal Palace after the Eagles refused to meet his wage demands, The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam reports.
16-year-old Atta has departed Selhurst Park and, according to Fabrizio Romano, is bound for Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice after a deal was ‘verbally agreed weeks ago’.
There was also interest from Italian giants Juventus, a marker of just how highly rated Atta is.
The attacker, capped by England at Under-15 level, made one appearance for Palace in the under-18 Premier League (via Transfermarkt).
Woosnam has been ‘told’ that Atta was demanding around £2,000 per week to remain at Palace.
But they weren’t willing to agree to those terms because it would mean breaking a ‘strict’ wage structure put in place for academy players.
Palace fans might be frustrated to lose such an exciting talent. He may go on to footballing stardom and leave them wondering what might have been.
But while the temptation is do whatever it takes to keep such prospects, situations like this are a test of clubs’ principles.
You could even argue that, had they given in to Atta’s lofty demands, Palace could have risked unsettling a host of other young stars, who might in turn demand more money as a reflection of their value. Who knows if one of those youngsters is the one with superstar potential?
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