Manchester City are reportedly sizing up a £50 million move for Crystal Palace winger and failed Manchester United experiment Wilfried Zaha, who is said to have caught the eye of manager Pep Guardiola.
The Mirror's John Richardson reported Zaha's hand in saving Palace has turned Guardiola's attention toward the Palace star instead of Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez, who was the subject of a £60 million City bid in January.
Zaha agreed to join City rivals United in January 2013 and had one poor season under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson's predecessor, David Moyes, before he moved back to the south of London the following year.
The Ivory Coast international has moulded himself into an invaluable star at Palace in the years since, and Eagles boss Roy Hodgson recently told Match of the Day's Gary Lineker of his desire to see the forward stay:
The Citizens were known to have an interest in Mahrez in the winter transfer window, with the Algerian even refraining from Leicester training for one week, suggesting City are in the market for a wide man.
He's demonstrated his ability to play in a number of positions, including up front as well as in his natural area out wide, and Indy Football show how his dribbling has been of an elite caliber in the Premier League:
Zaha was recently named Crystal Palace Player of the Year for the third season in succession and has consistently proved himself to be their biggest talent, but he may wonder if he can achieve more elsewhere with a move.
Despite the disappointment of a dull single season at Old Trafford, Zaha has also confirmed he wouldn't be too intimidated to complete a second transfer away from Selhurst Park:
Five years after leaving the Eagles the first time, the winger is a better and more experienced player, who many would say is worthy of battling for a place in a better squad, as he once attempted with United.
That being said, statistician Simon Gleave has suggested the current crop of Palace players have the potential to make a European run, and Zaha may agree the makings of a bigger and better outfit are there at Selhurst Park:
Simon Gleave @SimonGleave
@AaronClavin Currently after 5 successive battles against relegation, I'd guess Palace fans would generally be happy with the results. Clearly if Zaha can be kept and the quality suggested by this team since Hodgson arrived can be sustained there would be an outside chance of Europa League.
City are one of the clubs in England who have the resources to tempt Palace into selling, not to mention the allure they pose after sauntering to this season's Premier League crown.
Zaha would be landing a glancing blow on United if he were to join their local rivals after progressing in the years since his Old Trafford departure, a reminder of the talent that might have been theirs.