United agrees to sign Zaha from Crystal Palace
MANCHESTER - The Associated Press
England's Wilfried Zaha controls the ball during their international friendly soccer match against Sweden at the Friends Arena in Stockholm November 14, 2012. REUTERS photoManchester United picked up one of the hottest prospects in English football on Friday by agreeing to sign Wilfried Zaha from second-tier club Crystal Palace.
The 20-year-old winger, who made his England debut against Sweden in November, will be loaned back to Palace for the rest of the season to help the London club in its bid for promotion to the Premier League.
Zaha, who will undergo a medical examination at the Premier League leaders on Friday, will join United on a permanent basis in July. The British media are reporting he will cost 15 million pounds ($23.6 million).
"We are signing a player of potential," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We always feel we develop players well. We have proved that many times. We hope the boy enjoys coming here, when he comes in the summer."
Zaha, who had also been linked with Arsenal, was born in the Ivory Coast but left his native country for England when he was 4.
His goals and impressive performances have propelled Palace into fourth place in the League Championship, two points off an automatic promotion place, and himself into the England squad.
"My focus for the next five months will be solely at Crystal Palace," the powerfully built Zaha said. "I have been at Palace for more than 10 years. I will always love the club and I want to help get them get back to the Premier League."