Updates from Thursday, Aug. 28
Zaha previously had reportedly agreed a loan move to Crystal Palace, according to multiple sources earlier on Thursday.
The Daily Mail and Eurosport both claim a deal is done with Manchester United:
BREAKING: Wilfried Zaha has signed for Crystal Palace from Manchester United on a season-long loan #cpfc— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 28, 2014
BREAKING: Wilfried Zaha joins Crystal Palace on a season long loan deal.— Eurosport.com (@EurosportCom_EN) August 28, 2014
Yes. I did speak to him last night.
I had half hour last night telling him why I want him to come back and I'm optimistic we are going to do it today.
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 20
Malky Mackay will move for Manchester United flop Wilfried Zaha once he is officially appointed Crystal Palace boss.
Paul Brown of the Daily Star reports:
The former Cardiff boss has been promised "significant funds" to spend before the end of the transfer window. And he wants to bring former Eagles favourite Zaha back to Selhurst Park from United.
Eagles chairman Steve Parish is a massive fan and it was a disagreement over Zaha which caused Pulis to dramatically quit last week.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 15
Wilfried Zaha is expected to sign for QPR before the end of the week, reports Charlie Wyett of the Sun (subscription required).
Zaha had been tipped to return to Crystal Palace after a horror spell at Manchester United, but Wyett reports:
Wilfried Zaha is set to sign for QPR.
Rangers hope to seal a one-year loan deal for the Manchester United winger in the next 48 hours.
Wilfried Zaha is reportedly set to end what has been a miserable spell at Manchester United with a switch back to former club Crystal Palace.
According to Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror, new Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal does not see the 21-year-old as part of his first-team plans but is undecided as to whether the club should let him go completely: "Manchester United will let the winger leave Old Trafford this summer, and while details of the nature of the switch are still to be ironed out between the clubs, MirrorFootball understands that Zaha has made it clear he wants a Palace return."
The decision to be made by United is whether to send him to the Eagles on loan or sell him to Tony Pulis' side outright.
While Zaha impressed in pre-season, Malyon reports that "an outline agreement has been reached for a loan move, with an initial fee of £2 million and a clause to make the deal permanent if Palace stay in the Premier League."
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish also commented on rumours surrounding Zaha (via Mark Ritson of Local World Group):
#cpfc chairman Steve Parish confirms Palace have a bid in for a player tonight. Medical tomorrow. Hopefully in squad for Saturday.— Mark Ritson (@MR_LWMedia) August 12, 2014
Steve Parish: "We are very excited if we get it done." #cpfc— Mark Ritson (@MR_LWMedia) August 12, 2014
Parish: "There is a bid in for a player tonight. We've had permission to speak to the player & we're very close to agreeing personal." #cpfc— Mark Ritson (@MR_LWMedia) August 12, 2014
Zaha was seen as one of English football's brightest prospects when he inspired Palace to promotion to the Premier League during the 2012-13 season.
Should United let Zaha move back to Palace?
He signed for Sir Alex Ferguson's United in January 2013 and was immediately loaned back to the Selhurst Park outfit, eventually joining the squad full time ahead of last season.
However, he failed to make an impact under new boss David Moyes, making only two substitute appearances in the Premier League before being loaned out in January 2014 to Cardiff, who were eventually relegated.
Zaha still has four years left on his contract at Old Trafford but is unsurprisingly eager to move back to the club where he made his name, rather than stay at United where he will likely be underused.
As the Manchester Evening News' Rob Dawson highlights, Zaha performed well in United's pre-season tour of the USA, specifically in his second-half appearance against Inter Milan:
Wilfried Zaha has done really well in the second half. Looked quick, direct and dangerous.— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) July 30, 2014
The qualities Dawson outlines are exactly the reason Ferguson bought him in the first place—for £10 million upfront—but he is unlikely to nail down a first-team spot with the Red Devils any time soon, per The Guardian's Daniel Harris:
Unlikely Zaha'll start many games to begin with, but he's direct, fast and not scared, so should be on the bench every time.— Daniel Harris (@DanielHarris) July 30, 2014
Thus, a move back to Crystal Palace looks an ideal switch for Zaha himself to revive his career and is potentially a good opportunity for Van Gaal to lighten his squad, which is currently overburdened with underperforming forward players.
With no European football to contend with next season, United can afford to have a smaller, more manageable squad, and the loss of Zaha would be no bad thing.