Crystal Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has revealed that Wilfried Zaha could return to Selhurst Park from Manchester United before the transfer window closes. Parish also hinted that the English winger is one of two players the Eagles hope to sign ahead of their Premier League opener against Arsenal on Saturday.
Zaha is expected to leave Old Trafford in the coming days - on loan, although a permanent deal remains a possibility - after failing to impress Louis van Gaal on United’s pre-season tour of the United States.
The one-time England international remains a hero in the eyes of the Crystal Palace supporters after helping the Eagles secure promotion to the Premier League in May 2013 - but Parish insists the final decision rests with Palace boss Tony Pulis.
Parish: Fans would love to see Zaha return
“Manchester United are not quite sure what they're doing with him so out of respect for them, it's not for me to talk about that,” he told Sky Sports News. “I’m sure that if he can, he'll try to be a permanent fixture at Manchester United this season.
“It's up to the manager, the players we sign. It's not up to me. I'm there to help him get the squad he wants.
“There's a sentimental value and I loved Wilf as a kid and he did sensational things for us.
“I know the fans would like him back and that will play a part, but in the end the manager will decide what we do.”
Palace working on two deals before Arsenal game
Parish went on to confirm that Palace are currently working on two deals ahead of their opening match against the Gunners this weekend - and it seems one of them could involve the aforementioned Zaha.
“We're looking at a Premier League midfielder. It's someone we're interested in and if we can get the deal right we'll try to do it,” Parish added. 'Hopefully the other player will be here in the next couple of days and that shouldn't be the end of it, although it will be as much as we can do before the Arsenal game.”
Zaha fails to impress Van Gaal
Van Gaal took a close look at Zaha, 21, on the club’s pre-season tour - and offered him the chance to impress in an unfamiliar centre-forward role.
Although the winger performed reasonably well against Inter Milan, he was disappointing against Real Madrid after coming off the bench to replace Danny Welbeck, and this appears to have made up Van Gaal’s mind over the player’s future.
Zaha, who has made just two Premier League appearances for Manchester United since signing for the Premier League giants for an initial £10 million fee in January 2013, has been linked to several clubs over the past week.
Watch: Zaha in action for Man United
Competition for Zaha's signature
Championship side Nottingham Forest were reportedly lining up an ambitious loan move, while Premier League outfit Newcastle United were believed to have prepared a £7 million bid.
But a move back to Crystal Palace, where he established his reputation as one of the country’s most exciting young footballers, may be the most appealing option to the player if Van Gaal decides to axe him.
Now that the veteran Dutch coach has implemented a 3-5-2 formation at Old Trafford - a system which favours wing-backs over traditional wingers - it seems likely that Zaha’s time at Manchester United is coming to an abrupt end.