Despite Sir Alex Ferguson’s long-held view that January transfer windows have "no value," Manchester United have finally agreed on a fee for long-term transfer target, Wilfried Zaha (via independent.co.uk).
The 20-year-old forward and England international, who can function either as a wide man or central striker, is set to undergo a medical at Old Trafford. Upon Zaha passing the medical, the £15 million deal is expected to be finalised within the next 48 hours, with a reported £10 million upfront, and a further £5 million depending on appearances and form (via BBC.co.uk).
Zaha will remain with current club Crystal Palace for the rest of the season, before joining up with his new teammates in the 2013-14 preseason.
Named Football League Young Player of the Year for his performances last season, Ivorian-born Zaha has netted 15 times in 124 appearances since graduating from the Palace Academy in 2010.
The Italian striker made a sensational debut, scoring the winning goal in a thrilling comeback against Aston Villa, but since then has struggled to break into the first team.
Loan spells with Sampdoria and Queens Park Rangers have failed to impress his manager sufficiently, and there is an overriding feeling that the Stuttgart loan may be his last chance. He is expected to make his debut in the Bundesliga against Bayern Munich.
With Zaha now on the roster, debate is now open as to who will be moved out to accommodate him. As an adept wide-forward who is capable of scoring the occasional goal, the slot he would be most suited to is the one currently occupied by Luis Nani.
It is well known that there has been a rift between the Portuguese winger and Alex Ferguson for some time now, with the 26-year-old not living up to early expectations.
Having been given few opportunities to sell himself to the manager this season, Nani has not made the desired impact, his last appearance ending with him being substituted in the 77th minute. Once compared to the magnificent Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani has come to be labelled as a less skilful and more selfish imitation.
His contract has less than 18 months to run, and a handful of clubs are likely to be interested in obtaining his services.
Despite Ferguson stating that negotiations with Nani’s representatives were underway in December , last summer it appeared that Nani was on the verge of a move to Zenit St Petersburg. However, talks broke down when Zenit director-general Maxim Mitrofanov branded Nani’s wage demands as "unreal."