Liverpool lead race for £10m Arsenal target

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Liverpool and Manchester City lead the chase for Crystal Palace winger, and reported Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha, according to

The England U21 international has attracted widespread interest from a number of Premier League suitors, after a series of scintillating performances in the Npower Championship.

It was reported that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sent former assistant manager Pat Rice to run the rule over Zaha in Palace's 4-3 win over Burnley at the weekend, with the 19-year-old winger netting twice in front of the Emirates Stadium representative.

However, understands that Arsenal are considered outsiders in the race to capture one of the hottest properties in the lower leagues, with long-term admirers Liverpool at the front of the queue.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is desperate for more wide options at Anfield following the sales of Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez last summer, and Zaha's ability to play on either wing, or through the middle, makes him an attractive proposition.

The Ivorian-born star signed a new five-and-a-half year contract last December, tying him to the Selhurst Park club until 2017. But, the Eagles have indicated they could cash-in on their prized asset - either in January or next summer - with bidding set to start at around £10million.

Reigning champions Manchester City have also shown an interest in the Football League's 2011/12 Young Player of the Year, with Roberto Mancini continuing to monitor Zaha's situation, with a view to making a rival bid to lure him to the Etihad Stadium.

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