Arsenal not interested in Wilfried Zaha transfer
Arsene Wenger turns attention to other targets with Manchester United the most likely destination for Crystal Palace winger
Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have no interest and never were interested in signing Wilfried Zaha.
The Crystal Palace winger has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in English football with a host of Premier League sides linked with a move.
Arsenal have always been among those rumoured to be interested with Wenger saying recently when asked if the Gunners would make a move: "we are looking at him".
Yet the Arsenal manager today distanced his club from the England Under-21 international.
"We were never in for Zaha," Wenger told a press conference this morning.
That leaves Manchester United as Zaha's most likely destination, with the current league leaders having already made a bid of £5m plus £5m add-ons. It is understood to be the only bid from any club currently on the table.
Crystal Palace are in a quandary over whether to agree to the deal having hoped to secure closer to £12m for the 20-year-old.
Yet their position is weakened by the lack of any other offers, and the fact Sir Alex Ferguson remained in England while the United squad travel to Qatar for a warm weather training camp has been seen as a signal of his intent to conclude a deal by making himself available if needed.
Asked last night if a price had been agreed, Palace chairman Steve Parish said: "I'm not going to answer." But his comments point to a loan-back deal, as Parish did make an unequivocal pledge to his club's fans that Zaha would be playing for Palace through until the end of the season. "Right now, he's a Crystal Palace player and he'll be a Crystal Palace player in the summer. That's the only thing I can tell you," Parish said. "He'll definitely be playing for us until the end of May whatever happens. I've said it countless times – there's no way the player is going to leave the club in January. That's where we are and that's where we've always been with it."
It is unclear whether Ferguson met Zaha in London on Sunday night, after United's game at Tottenham. Ferguson is known to be attending a Manchester United Foundation round-table dinner while his players are away.
Wenger said today he was unsure where Zaha's future lay.
"I don't know if he will go to Man United. If he goes to Man United, good luck to him."
While Arsenal may not be interest in Zaha, Wenger confirmed he intends to boost his squad with two new signings before the transfer window shuts, and professed his admiration for West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame.
The Frenchman refused, however, to reveal whether he was interested in signing France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.
"I don't give you any names. I don't come out on [rumours Lyon have offered him to Arsenal] because it would put Lyon in a bad position," Wenger said.
"You have to respect the player as well has a contract somewhere, is playing and, as long as the transfer is not done, for anybody it is best not to talk about it because it doesn't work. He has to continue to play there where he is."
Latest in Sport
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Angel Di Maria latest: Manchester United target is Real Madrid's 'best player', says Diego Simeone
Luis Nani exit: The curious case of the Manchester United winger
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda': Singer finally releases predictable video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women