United spend £15m on Palace forward Zaha

CRYSTAL Palace and England forward Wilfried Zaha is poised to seal a dream £15m transfer to Manchester United, but will remain in south London until the summer to help the Eagles bid for promotion.

The Ivory Coast-born 20-year-old, who was handed his first international cap by Roy Hodgson in last year’s friendly defeat in Sweden, is expected to cost United £10m up front rising to a potential £15m depending on appearances and performance.

Zaha is believed to have agreed a contract until 2018 at Old Trafford after the Premier League leaders’ manager Sir Alex Ferguson held talks with the Palace academy product at the weekend.

But under the terms of the deal the pacey, versatile attacker, who can play on the wing or as a striker, is set to remain on loan at Selhurst Park until the end of the season.

Zaha has scored five goals in 27 Championship appearances this term as Palace have climbed to fourth in the second tier, despite the departure of boss Dougie Freedman for Bolton in October.

Securing his signature represents a transfer coup for United, amid interest from other top flight sides including Arsenal, although their manager Arsene Wenger insisted he had not bid for the player last week.

Zaha’s summer arrival will increase doubts over the long-term future of Portugal winger Nani, who is wanted by Russian clubs and has become an increasingly peripheral figure at Old Trafford this season.