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Palace confirm interest in Zaha loan; Rafinha inks new Bayern deal

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has confirmed the club's interest in signing Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha on loan in January.

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has confirmed the club’s interest in signing Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha on loan when the transfer window re-opens in the New Year, Sky Sports understands.

The England international, who joined United from Palace in a deal worth £15 million in January, has made just four appearances in all competitions for the Reds this season.

His first-team opportunities were always going to be few and far between, but even more so now that Nani has inked a new five-year deal worth £120,000-a-week.

The likes of Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Nani and Shinji Kagawa are currently ahead of Zaha in the pecking order at Old Trafford, fueling speculation he could be loaned out in the near future.

United loanees have performed quite well for their respective clubs this term, most notably Federico Macheda (Doncaster), Nick Powell (Wigan) and Tyler Blackett (Blackpool), which has triggered an interest in Zaha from Newcastle and Palace.

“Obviously he was a tremendous player at this football club and United spent a lot of money on him. I’m sure Wilfried and David and Manchester United will decide what they want to do,” said Palace boss Tony Pulis.

“We’d be interested, whether we could do it, but we’d be interested if the player was available.

“We’re cutting across a line I really don’t want to go past, you’re talking about other players who are owned by other football clubs. That’s disrespectful to United and especially David.”

Despite his lack of matches, Zaha is 15/2 to score first or last and 9/4 to score at anytime when the English Premier League champions host West Ham on Saturday.

Rafinha inks new Bayern deal

Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha has signed a new deal with the treble winners to keep him at the Allianz Arena until the summer of 2017.

The once-capped Brazil international, 28, joined Bayern from Genoa in 2010 but had seen his playing time reduced last season following the emergence of David Alaba at left-back, moving Germany captain Philipp Lahm to right-back.

The arrival of Pep Guardiola has led to more of a midfield role for Lahm, with Rafinha settling in at right-back.

“It’s very important for me, my career and my family that I can continue to work for one of the best clubs in the world,” Rafinha told Bayern’s official website. “I am very proud.”

Rafinha has already made more appearances in 2013/14 (25) than he made all of last season (17).

Bayern, currently seven points clear of second-place Leverkusen and a whopping 12 points ahead of rivals Dortmund, have drawn Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

The reigning European champions are overwhelming favourites at 1/5 to advance to the UCL quarter-finals, while the Gunners are backed the bookmakers at 10/3.

Thu 19 December, 2013
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