Manchester City Transfer News: Wilfried Zaha Eyed in Latest Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

Crystal Palace's Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha celebrates on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Crystal Palace at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on December 16, 2017.
Crystal Palace won the game 3-0. / AFP PHOTO / Lindsey PARNABY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester City are reportedly ready to launch a pursuit of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, although they are said to be facing stiff competition to land the Ivory Coast international. 

According to Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Mirror, Pep Guardiola is keen to add even more firepower to what is already a formidable squad, and Zaha has caught the eye of the City boss.

However, Paris Saint-Germain have also reportedly laid "foundations" for a potential offer, while Arsenal and Chelsea are said to be tracking the Eagles sensation as well. 

Kajumba noted City are viewing Zaha, said to be valued at around £40 million, as a possible alternative to Gunners forward Alexis Sanchez, who they came close to landing at the end of the summer transfer window.

The former Manchester United winger has been making steady progress over the past couple of campaigns, and at the moment he's playing the best football of his career. James Dutton of MailOnline can see why some elite teams have an eye on Zaha:

James Dutton @jrgdutton

Wilfried Zaha is comfortably the best player in the bottom half of the Premier League

Crystal Palace have been languishing near the bottom of the Premier League table for much of the campaign, although their struggles have not been down to Zaha. The 25-year-old missed a portion of the season due to injury, leaving the Eagles looking toothless in the final third.

Since his return to full fitness, the forward has been sensational to watch and has helped Palace climb out of the relegation zone.

Zaha has left many defences in a daze this season.
Zaha has left many defences in a daze this season.Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The winger is skilful, powerful and has blistering speed to get away from defenders. When he's on it, he can devastate defences, as he did for Palace in the 3-0 win over Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday. 

FreshPressUK's Ste Hoare believes the winger would be ideal for City and represent value for money at the reported price: 

Ste Hoare @stehoare

£40m for Zaha would be a great buy for whoever gets him. He'd be amazing at City

The concern for any side landing Zaha would be that he struggled previously when he made the move to an illustrious club.

In 2013, the winger signed for United having shone for Palace in the second tier. There was excitement aplenty about what he could offer and some glimpses of unquestionable talent. However, he made just two Premier League appearances for the Red Devils before returning to Selhurst Park in 2014. 

Bleacher Report's James McNicholas suggested the move came a little too early in Zaha's career, whereas now he appears ready for that step:

gunnerblog @gunnerblog

Wilfried Zaha is 25 and beginning to look like the player United thought they had signed. Some players move too soon, and some simply need more time.

The chance to join a City side that is sweeping all before them would be tempting for any player. Guardiola is renowned for getting more out of attacking players, and if he were able to add more consistency to Zaha's game, the Ivorian would be a scary proposition for Premier League defences.

Still, Zaha would have some concerns about leaving Palace for Manchester for a second time, especially in midseason. Plus, given how important he is to their cause, the Eagles would surely resist any offer that came in January, especially when they remain involved in a relegation scrap.