But Mauricio Pochettino is now eyeing a move for Zaha, who is playing some of the best football of his career at the moment at Selhurst Park.
Instead, he is eager for a big-money move to Chelsea, with Maurizio Sarri potentially in the market for a marauding frontman should Willian leave. However, no one has come close to meeting Palace's £70million evaluation.
Further, it is reported that Zaha has rejected the club's advance at renewing his contract and bettering the package he now earns, with fresh terms giving him up to £125,000-a-week, a decent step-up from a recent contract he signed that sees him earn £100,000-a-week now.
Zaha has found his mojo once again since returning to Crystal Palace from Manchester United in the summer of 2015.
The race to sign Zaha is getting increasingly unpredictable.
The Blues have signed Italy worldwide Jorginho in a £57m deal from Serie A runners up Napoli.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has been fairly open with his frustration at his side's lack of transfer activity this summer, and it seems as though he is set to face further disappointment in his chase for Townsend.
Sarri, whose own arrival was delayed due to a disagreement between the club and Antonio Conte, still wants a bigger squad ahead of his first season in charge.
Tottenham were interested in signing Zaha this window, but have chose to pursue Aston Villa's Jack Grealish instead.
That gives Chelsea a clear run at the player, although significant hurdles remain if they are to agree a deal before the transfer window closes.