Manchester United fear Arsenal smash and grab for £20 million transfer target

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Football News

Manchester United remain in the driving seat to land Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha – but remain fearful that Arsenal could mount a late challenge for the talented youngster according to the Independent.

The 20-year-old has attracted in interest form a string of Premier League clubs thanks to his sterling performances for Palace over the last two seasons, while he was handed his international debut with England in their friendly against Sweden last year.

The battle for Zaha looked to have boiled down to a straight fight between Manchester United and Tottenham, although now it appears as though Spurs have cooled their interest while Arsenal are ramping up theirs in an attempt to snatch him from under Manchester United’s nose.

While the Guardian are currently reporting that Manchester United are in the driving seat for Zaha’s signature and are in talks with Crystal Palace over a move, the Independent claim Arsenal have been monitoring developments with chief scout Steve Rowley keeping a keen eye on the winger.

The paper claims that it is a straight fight between the pair, while the Guardian report that the player has no preference for a move to either Old Trafford or the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s move for Zaha is thought to have no impact on their current squad in terms of replacing existing players, with Theo Walcott close to agreeing a new deal while also looking set to vacate his usual wide position to play through the middle on a regular basis.

While both clubs remain keen on landing Zaha, Palace chairman Steve Parish has been vocal in his insistence that his star player won’t be sold as the Eagles go in search of promotion to the Premier League and put a £20 million price tag on his head.

Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway confirmed yesterday that a deal in January could happen if either Arsenal or Manchester United are willing to loan him straight back until the end of the season.

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