Yahoo Sports Minute:

Manchester United wraps up Zaha deal

Goal.com

Wilfried Zaha has completed his move from Crystal Palace to Manchester United.

The Premier League giant has announced that the 20-year-old will undertake a medical in Manchester on Friday after the two clubs reached an agreement for him to join United in July.

The 20-year-old has agreed a five-and-a-half year contract and his registration will be transferred to United, even though he will be loaned back to Palace for the rest of the season.

Goal.com understands that the deal is worth up to 17 million pounds, with United paying 15m pounds plus a further 2m pounds in performance-related add-ons.

WILF MOVE GREAT FOR PALACE
James Daly
Editor, Palace Fanzine Five Year Plan

Zaha going to Manchester United in the January window for 15m pounds up front, 2m pounds in add-ons, and a loan-back until then summer, is a great bit of business for Palace.

We have been stung too many times in the past by bigger clubs and seen talented youngsters that we've developed leave for pittance. The likes of Wayne Routledge, Victor Moses and John Bostock all left for way less than they should have thanks to greedy agents and measly top flight clubs.

But this deal for Zaha signifies that putting time in to a youngster should be rewarded. Especially after the new Elite Player Performance Plan that has been implemented allowing Premier League teams to pick and choose the country's best kids for next to nothing, I hope this deal is a benchmark for future transfers, and that lower league teams get what they deserve.

Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has long insisted he would only go if the deal was right for the club, and he's been true to his word.

If we get Zaha back until the end of the season, then you may well see Palace in the Premier League next season, and even though we'd love to have Wilf playing for us in the top flight, you'll get nothing but love and adulation for him from the away end at Old Trafford next campaign.



Speaking on Friday, Sir Alex Ferguson said: “We like to sign young players with potential. We always feel we can develop players well here.

"That's been proved to be the case many times. We hope the boy will enjoy it here when he eventually comes."

Zaha released a statement to say he is thrilled to be joining United but insisted his immediate sights will be fixed on winning promotion with Palace.

“I am delighted to be joining Manchester United," he said. "However, my focus for the next  five months will be solely at Crystal Palace."

Palace chairman Steve Parish, who has been in Australia this week, had hoped to hang on to Zaha’s registration until the summer, with the two clubs agreeing a ‘guaranteed date of purchase’.

However, Football League rules forbid such an agreement and United indicated its desire to wrap up the deal this week.

As revealed by Goal.com on Monday, United blew Arsenal out of the water after the two Premier League big hitters became involved in a two-horse race to sign the coveted forward.

United made the first formal move for Zaha last week and, due to interest from the Gunners, made multiple bids for the player after opening the bidding with a 6m pound offer.

Parish had overseen the negotiations with the two clubs and was aware that Zaha met United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for talks in London on Sunday.

The Championship club used Arsenal’s interest to drive the price way beyond the 10m pound mark and the final fee is far beyond what the Gunners paid to beat United to the signings of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in 2011 and Theo Walcott in 2006.

The title challengers had initially been undecided about the framework of the deal amid concerns that the 20-year-old would be a ‘marked man’ if he remained in the Championship until the end of the season.

The attacker, who can play anywhere across the front three, has been a driving force in Palace’s surge to fourth in the Championship, scoring five goals in 27 league appearances this season. He made his England debut as a substitute in the 4-2 November friendly defeat to Sweden.

Follow GOAL.COM USA on Twitter

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Soccer
View Comments (1)