Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out a potential move for Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha, with English Premier League leaders Manchester United apparently set to land the in-demand Ivorian-born England international after the Frenchman denied the Gunners’ rumoured interest in the player, ESPN Soccernet understands.
Zaha, 20, has been on the radar of top Premier League clubs all season, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur all linked with the 20-year-old at some point this term.
According to reports, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has decided not to attend the club’s four-day training trip to Doha (Qatar) in order to finalise a £12 million deal for Zaha, with Wenger claiming that he was never interested in the England international winger.
“If Zaha goes to Man Utd, good luck to him,” said Wenger. “We were never in for him. Never.”
However, according to ESPN sources, Arsenal submitted a formal bid for Zaha last week.
With that said, the Gunners are reportedly keen on bringing in two players during the winter transfer window, with Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon) and Etienne Capoue (Toulouse) linked with a move to North London in recent weeks.
According to BBC Sport, Rennes have accepted a £9.6 million offer from Russian club Rubin Kazan for M’Vila, but the 22-year-old is thought to favour a move to England, with Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur also in for the Frenchman.
Wenger remained coy on his potential transfer targets during a press conference on Tuesday, revealing very little other than his admiration for West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame.
“I will not give you any names. We are working very hard. It’s not the number of players that counts, but the quality,” added the Frenchman.
Haidara set to join Newcastle United
French Ligue 1 club AS Nancy have confirmed that France Under-21 international left-back Massadio Haidara is on his way to Tyneside, with Nancy and Newcastle United having reached an agreement for the 20-year-old, Sky Sports reports.
“After 46 games and two-and-a-half years in the Nancy shirt, Massadio Haidara is leaving his former club for Newcastle United, currently sixteenth in the Premier League,” read a statement on the Ligue 1 club’s official website.
“The two clubs have reached an agreement and will finalise the transfer on Tuesday.”
Haidara has made 46 league appearances for AS Nancy Lorraine over the past three seasons, tallying three assists and earning six bookings.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are also on the verge of signing Montpellier HSC captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Yanga-Mbiwa, 23, has started 28 matches for club and country, France, this season, including Les Bleus’ World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Finland in September 2012.