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
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove