Manchester United confident of beating Tottenham to Wilfried Zaha signature

Crystal Palace forward among the hottest properties this January

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The Independent Football

Manchester United and Tottenham are preparing to battle it out for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha.

The 20-year-old forward has emerged as one of the most sought after players of the current transfer window following consistently impressive displays in the Championship.

While numerous clubs are interested, United and Spurs and understood to be leading the way.

Reports suggest Tottenham have already openend negotiations with Palace over a move, with Eagles chairman Steve Parish recently admitting: "We will look at anything that anybody offers us because we would be mad not to."

It's understood Palace want £20m for the England Under-21 international, however the bidding is likely to start closer to £7m.

Players could also be offered on loan in return to smooth any deal.

Palace would like Zaha to remain until the end of the season, however that could involve the 20-year-old signing with another club and immediately re-joining on loan. Tottenham are allegedly happy to go along with this scenario.

Manchester United have reportedly been struggling to make contact with Parish so that they can begin negotiations, however they are hopeful they can swing the deal in their favour.

The Daily Mail report Sir Alex Ferguson will speak with Zaha personally as soon as a fee has been agreed, with United hopeful the personal touch will convince the forward to join the current league leaders.

With Nani's future uncertain, Ryan Giggs likely to retire at the end of the season and Ashley Young out of form, United are aware of the need for a new wide player.