As reported by me some weeks ago, the deal for Wilfred Zaha from Crystal Palace is set to be rubber-stamped in the next few days. The deal will entail his remaining at his present club, Crystal Palace, until the end of the season; a season which Crystal Palace hopes to gain promotion to the Premiership. This deal alone was enough to persuade his club to agree, however, Sir Alex intends to sweeten the deal by offering some loan players to assist Palace in their attempts to gain promotion.
You may have read in the tabloid press in the UK over the last few days, a number of articles and stories suggesting that Zaha had been in negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur about a possible transfer. That was a typical red-herring planted in the press by the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, no stranger to underhand tricks in the transfer market. However, I had already stated in my earlier article, that the main competitors for his signature, came not from Tottenham, but from Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Zaha and had been watching him for almost as long as Sir Alex. It was therefore a straight choice for Zaha between Arsenal and Manchester United, so Tottenham withdrew during the week, to save face and not been seen to be snubbed by the player.
It is likely that the initial deal will be around £8m in cash, plus add-ons. These may be in the form of a sell on clause or performance related additional payments. This is normal practice these days. Where Sir Alex has been clever is by adding the opportunity for his friend and Crystal Palace manager, Ian Holloway, to loan some players from Manchester United to assist in their promotion efforts. Whilst I do not have any definite information as to who they might be, there are one or two likely contenders. Danny Welbeck may well be loaned for at least part of the season, maybe even Nani, who has fallen foul of Sir Alex since the end of last season and looks to be on his way at the end of this season.
Zaha has been called up to the full England squad for the next series of friendlies, so Sir Alex has struck the deal now before Zaha`s value rises by even more.
I expect there to be an announcement next week about this transfer.