Sir Alex Ferguson has phoned new signing Wilfried Zaha to warn him not to drop his playing level and to conduct himself like a Manchester United player, even though he is still at Crystal Palace.

Zaha signed for the Old Trafford club in January for a reported £15million but was loaned back to Palace until the end of the season to continue their push for Premier League promotion.

Now the Daily Mirror have reported that Ferguson took the time to call Zaha and lecture him on the importance of being a Manchester United “ambassador”.

It claims the Scot warned Zaha he must not drop his playing level now that he is heading for one of the biggest clubs in the world in the summer.

According to the report, Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway was worried the 20-year-old had been unsettled by the speculation surrounding his future, with him being linked with the likes of Arsenal and Spurs before signing with the Red Devils.

It says Ferguson particularly prides himself on Manchester United players upholding the highest standards of behaviour and wants Zaha to set an example.

Zaha has been a revelation for the Eagles this season and the report claims he has agreed to maintain that standards of behaviour requested of him by Ferguson.

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