Manchester United agreed a fee to buy exciting forward
Wilfried Zaha from second-tier Crystal Palace on Friday with manager
Sir Alex Ferguson investing in young potential rather than a big name for
his first signing of the transfer window.
Ivory Coast-born 20-year-old, who left west Africa as a four-year-old,
will be immediately loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of
this season before joining the Premier League leaders in July.
club gave any financial details but British media have widely reported
the deal to be worth 15 million pounds.
"As we like to do, we sign young players with potential," Ferguson told a news conference.
can also develop players well here. That's proved to be the case many
times. Hopefully the boy will enjoy it coming here when he eventually
does join us in the summer."
Ferguson has often bought in young players and shipped them out to other clubs to gain more experience.
such example is 21-year-old striker Federico Macheda who since arriving
at Old Trafford in 2008 has had spells at Sampdoria, Queens Park
Rangers and this week was sent on loan to VfB Stuttgart for the
remainder of the season.
displays for Palace have caught the eye of the Premier League elite,
with Arsenal also thought to be in the running to seal a deal until
manager Arsene Wenger this week said he was not interested.
arrival at Old Trafford could set alarm bells ringing for Portuguese
winger Nani, who has increasingly found it hard to claim a first-team
spot against Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Shinji Kagawa and Ryan
now, Zaha's mind is firmly on Crystal Palace's promotion push with the
London side sitting fourth in the Championship table.
am delighted to be joining Manchester United and ending the recent
speculation," Zaha said on the Palace website.
would like to thank the owners at Palace for making the move possible,
however my focus for the next five months will be solely at Crystal
"I have been at
Palace for more than 10 years, I will always love the club and I want
to help get them back to the Premier League, particularly for the fans
who have always been so good to me."
made his England debut as a substitute in the 4-2 friendly
international defeat by Sweden in November last year, becoming only the
second Championship outfield player in five years to be called up by
He is still eligible to play for the Ivory Coast because the game in Stockholm was classed as a non-competitive match by FIFA.
Zaha will undergo a medical at United on Friday and Palace said they expected the deal to be concluded early next week.
would like to thank Wilf for all he has done for the club and we all
wish him well when he joins Manchester United in the summer," Palace
co-chairman Steve Parish said on his club's website.
was essential to Wilf and ourselves that he stayed at Palace for the
remainder of this season to help the club with its main aim of
promotion to the Premier League."
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