English Premier League club Arsenal are reportedly preparing a £7.5 million bid for Championship side Crystal Palace's striker Wilfred Zaha, who has been scouted by the Gunners' boss, Arsene Wenger, over the past six months.' manager, Arsene aha, who the North London club'lace'paring a for the past  

Arsenal, in the recent past, has signed a number of players from the lower English leagues, most prominently Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey from Southampton and Cardiff City respectively. The North London club continued this policy, over the summer, by signing England-born Finnish defender Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic.

Zaha, an Ivory Coast-born England U-19 international is believed to be a versatile attacking player with a wealth of speed and a good first touch. He has become a key figure in the Crystal Palace set-up this season, under new manager Dougie Freedman and has been impressive in the South London club's run to the Carling Cup semi-finals, which also included a famous victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

According to some reports, Wenger is keen on signing the 19-year-old, who has only recently signed a long-term contract. If this is true then Freedman will have a tough time hanging on to his prized asset, who would most certainly be interested in both playing in the Premiership and with a big club like Arsenal. However, Wenger is believed to be ready to offer Zaha back on loan to the Championship side until the end of the season as part of any deal to sign him.

Apart from Arsenal, other Premiership sides such as Newcastle United and Queen's Park Rangers are also in the race to sign the striker, according to a Caughtoffside report.

Dazet Wilfried Armel Zaha, who started his senior career with Crystal Palace last term, has already made as many as 70 appearances for the club and has managed to find the back of the net six times in all competitions. Team mate Paddy McCarthy has compared Zaha to former Palace player Victor Moses, who now plays for Wigan Athletic in the Premiership.