Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has admitted he desperately tried to bring former Eagles star Wilfried Zaha back to Selhurst Park in January.
Zaha, who helped Palace seal promotion to the Premier League last season, has failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford.
The Manchester United winger featured in just two Premier League games before joining Cardiff City on loan during the final week of the transfer window.
A number of Premier League sides - including Crystal Palace - were interested in signing Zaha on a temporary basis until the end of the season.
However Manchester United boss David Moyes told Zaha that he would not be allowed to move back to Crystal Palace as he was against the 21-year-old moving back to south London.
And Parish, speaking to the Croydon Advertiser, has confirmed Crystal Palace's interest in the England Under-21 star.
“We went for Wilf to bring him back and we offered a big loan fee on that.
“They [Manchester United], for whatever reason, didn’t really want him coming back to London.
"I think they wanted him to go and challenge himself elsewhere, and maybe it’s a case of you wouldn’t go back.
“But we would have welcomed him back so it was Thomas or Wilf I think.
"Thomas can also play behind the frontman as well so we can’t be too disappointed if you get one or the other on those two.
“They’re the two best young players in the country, I think.”
Zaha showed why Parish rates him so highly on his debut for Cardiff by setting up Craig Bellamy in their 2-1 win over Norwich.