Manchester United are set to open the bidding for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha this week with an initial offer of £6 million, potentially rising to £12 million with add-ons, according to the Daily Mail. A bid from the Premier League leaders has been widely anticipated with reports claiming that United were in pole position to sign the 20-year-old.
It was believed that United’s strong interest had dissuaded other suitors from pursuing their interest in Zaha, potentially allowing them to drive down Palace’s initial valuation of £20 million. However, Sky Sports reports that Arsenal are also now preparing a bid.
United are still thought to be leading the chase, with their willingness to allow Zaha to remain at Palace until the end of the season cited as an important factor in their favor. The Championship club’s manager Ian Holloway said that Zaha would only be sold if he could continue to aid Palace’s promotion push for the remainder of the campaign.
There have been bold claims from the Daily Mail on Tuesday that Barcelona are weighting up an offer for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. The La Liga leaders are said to be seeking a long-term replacement for 31-year-old Victor Valdes, who has 18 months remaining on his contract.
There have been reports that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was himself seeking a replacement for De Gea having lost patience with the Spaniard’s attempts to adjust to the English game. Yet the 22-year-old has enjoyed a run in the side of late, having previously been alternated with Anders Lindegaard.
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The Daily Star reports that De Gea is one of five names shortlisted by Barcelona technical director and former goalkeeping great Andoni Zubizarreta.
Staying in Spain, the Daily Express reports that Manchester United could move for Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria. The 24-year-old has not had the best of times this season in a struggling Madrid side and it is thought that United may look to the Argentina international as a replacement for Nani.
The Portuguese wide man has just 18 months remaining on his deal at Old Trafford and has been repeatedly been linked with a move away, contrary to Ferguson’s assertions, in recent months.
Di Maria, a left-footer who plays on the right for Madrid, was believed to be a target for United before he moved to the Spanish capital from Benfica in 2010.
There has also been further news about St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Recently, the 23-year-old claimed that both Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as clubs in Italy, had made contact about securing his services.
But the Gabon international has reaffirmed his commitment to remain in France until the end of the season.
"I say it again, I am not thinking about leaving," Aubameyang told French publication L'Equipe.
"I have a lot of interest, but the best solution is to stay at St Etienne and leave in the summer.
"It is very clear in my mind that these will be my last six months with St Etienne. Then, I don't know.
"It is nice to already have offers from England and I hope to leave for a club that will allow me to keep improving. There could be a surprise, but I am not planning on staying in France."