Manchester United chief executive David Gill has confirmed the club’s interest in Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, but insisted that a deal is ‘far from done’ despite previous reports suggesting the Red Devils had already agreed a deal in principle with the Eagles, Sky Sports understands.
“He is one of the players that we are looking at,” Gill told Sky Sports News.
“That is all I will say at the moment. I’ve been in football long enough to say that it’s not done until it’s done. He’s one of the players we are looking at, but it is far from done.”
Zaha, 20, is being courted by a number of English Premier League clubs, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all linked with the England international in recent weeks.
However, according to reports, United have emerged as the favourites to land Zaha after offering him a lucrative deal at Old Trafford, which includes allowing the Ivorian-born winger to stay at Selhurst Park until the end of the season, as per the wishes of Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway.
“Even if we did do something with Wilfried, that would be for the summer,” added Gill.
Crystal Palace are currently in fourth-place in the English Championship table, having earned 47 points from 27 league matches. The Eagles are 10 points behind current leaders Cardiff City, but just two points adrift of Hull City for the second automatic promotion bid to England’s top-flight.
Meanwhile, Manchester United remain top of the Premier League, seven points clear of defending champions and bitter inner-city rivals Manchester City.
Marseille want to keep Barton
Olympique de Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo has revealed that the Ligue 1 giants plan to discuss the future of on-loan midfielder Joey Barton with Queens Park Rangers in the coming weeks, Sky Sports reports.
Anigo was full of praise for the ‘laden with controversy’ — to steal a quote from Sir Alex Ferguson (pertaining to Luis Suarez) — Barton, who recently traded insults with former team-mate Dietmar Hamann on Twitter.
Barton, who joined Marseille on a season-long loan over the summer, has enjoyed his time out of the spotlight of the English media, and is reportedly keen on sealing a permanent switch to the Stade Velodrome.
As part of the initial agreement, Stéphane Mbia joined Queens Park Rangers on a two-year deal.
Although Marseille have not opened talks with QPR regarding the future of Barton, the clubs are expected to sit down soon, confirmed Anigo.
“We haven’t started the discussions yet with QPR but he’s a likeable lad and we want to keep him, although we have no guarantees,” revealed Les Phocéens’ sporting director.
“We have very good relations with QPR and extending the loan could be on the cards.
“He likes it in Marseille, he loves this city, which breathes football.
“He has a good attitude. He’s a good professional in his work and in his day-to-day commitment. A lot of French players should take their example from him.”
Barton, 30, has made 14 appearances, all starts, in all competitions for L’OM this season, tallying one goal and two assists.