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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high