Manchester United Transfer News: United Reportedly Enter Race for Wilfried Zaha

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIOctober 31, 2012

Manchester United are believed to be the latest English Premier League club to join the race for highly-rated Crystal Palace midfielder Wilfried Zaha, as the 19-year-old continues to be discussed as one of the hottest transfer prospects available this winter.

According to latest reports, United join the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in the race for Zaha, who is considered one of the top players in the Championship and one of the brightest young stars on the continent.

Per Goal:

Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have joined the race for Crystal Palace sensational Wilfried Zaha, who now looks set to seal a January move to the Premier League.

Arsenal are also strongly considering a bid for Zaha while [it was revealed] earlier this month that Manchester City and Liverpool have already made enquires for the winger.

Liverpool and Spurs are keen to improve their wide options and are long-term admires of the Football League's 2011-12 Young Player of the Year, while United, City and Arsenal are looking to snap up the best young talent in the country.

Zaha has already made over 100 appearances in the Championship despite still being a teenager—becoming a regular first-team starter at Crystal Palace—and earned himself a place in the England under-21 setup in the process.

He no doubt has the skill and talent to succeed in the English competition and will seemingly make a move there at some point in his career; the question is when that move will take place and which club he will end up playing for.

The 19-year-old is currently under contract at Palace until 2017, and as such, will likely cost any club around £15-20 million to acquire his services this season.

Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has already stated that the club will not accept offers less than £20 million for the talented teenager given his importance to the club and long contract with them—meaning that any Premier League team will have to shell out some serious money if they want Zaha over the winter transfer window.

Per South London Press (h/t Goal):

[Zaha] is an extraordinary talent. O said at the start of the season that keeping hold of Wilfried would be like spending a lot of money on a transfer. Other sides can fly their kites but it would take £20 million before we even got interested.

People would have to compensate us accordingly for losing [Zaha's] talent - that is what a transfer fee is. All the teams have got to understand that you get £60 million in TV money if you get into the Premier League, which is where we want to get. So we'd need to be compensated for reducing our chances of getting there.

Given the depth of talent that Manchester United already have on their wings, it does seem unlikely that Sir Alex Ferguson will shell out the big money on this transfer target—as good as he might be.

The Red Devils are blessed with a number of strong wingers including Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani, and with the likes of Anderson, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs and even Wayne Rooney all capable of playing well out wide, it would seem a little bit of an overkill for United to pursue Zaha.

Especially given that he would cost around £20 million—nearly the same amount of money that they paid for striker Robin van Persie in the summer transfer window.

With City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham all interested in Zaha and possessing more reason to sign him than United, it does seem that this transfer rumor will not turn out to be much more than that—transfer speculation and gossip.

Zaha is certainly talented and will make whatever Premier League club he ends up at a much stronger side for the future, but that club won't be Manchester United.

£20 million for a position they already have covered?

It just doesn't seem like the way Sir Alex Ferguson does business.


Should Manchester United pursue Wilfried Zaha this winter?

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