Arsenal join Manchester United in the race for Wilfried Zaha
Gunners ready to make offer for £12m rated 20-year-old
Manchester United must fight Arsenal for the services of Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, despite impressions that they would enjoy a free run for the 20-year-old England international.
Arsenal have certainly been active observers of the winger, about whom United have opened discussions with Palace, with the north London club's chief scout, Steve Rowley, present at several of his games.
It now appears to be a two-horse race for Zaha, with United ahead. The Palace chairman, Steve Parish, is currently away and with the club aware that they will need to bring in a good transfer fee to assuage supporters who see Zaha as key to their hopes of promotion to the Premier League, a deal may not be imminent.
United host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon with Brendan Rodgers' team seeking their first win at Old Trafford since the 4-1 victory of March 2009, but the manager has said in the build-up he is not a "magician" as he tries to rebuild a club who have spent pretty disastrously in the past few years. "I will be able to improve players – that is my work and I have confidence in that," he said. "If I look at [my] first six months, there have been improvements in a lot of the players. I will be able to take them and wring everything that I possibly can out of them. But the bottom line is about talent. If you don't initially have that then it can be difficult.
"You look at Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique since the start of the season and we have added value back to them. Absolutely. That is something we will look to do because we don't have the resources of the top clubs who are out there paying big money. We have to find the difference through the coaching. We will always be governed by budget; always be governed by restrictions on certain things within the club because if you haven't got the money you can't spend it."
Though Sunday's game is essentially a match-up between the two best players in the Premier League – Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez – Liverpool have finally become less dependent on their talisman, with nine different scorers plus Suarez since the start of December. "I never worried about it," Rodgers said. "I always said it has to be more than Luis Suarez who scores. As the season has gone on people have improved and developed as players and [in] performance level and that has helped the team."
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Aleksandar Kolarov seals ugly end to season in the dock once again
The Last Word: As David Beckham bows out, spare a thought for the ordinary players facing a crueller end
Arsène Wenger: 'We need stability and to strengthen in the summer'
Sam Wallace: The second coming of Mourinho will be a reunion that can only end in tears
James Lawton: For all Arsenal's dreams and prettiness there must be nagging sense of futility
- 1 British business: We need to stay in the European Union - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 2 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 3 Sam Wallace: The second coming of Mourinho will be a reunion that can only end in tears
- 4 Civil partnerships amendment 'could wreck' gay marriage Bill, Government sources warn
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.