Manchester United have all but completed the signing of Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha, according to the Mirror. The report states Sir Alex Ferguson met the Championship star in London on Sunday night, ahead of a £15m transfer; £10m will be paid up front, with the remaining split into performance-related bonuses.
The 20-year-old England international is expected to sign a long-term contract worth £1.5m a year but it is unclear if he will remain on loan with the Eagles for the rest of the season or join the Old Trafford first team immediately.
Zaha has had an excellent season with Palace so far, scoring five times and creating four goals in his 27 Championship starts. There has been considerable interest in his services, with United's Premier League rivals Arsenal linked with a big money move as well. In addition, Spurs were also credited with an interest.
Palace chairman Steve Parish has been quoted as saying the forward is worth at least £20m but regardless of those statements, the final transfer fee, if true, represents a significant outlay on a player who has no Premier League game time and limited professional experience.
Ferguson Blasts Linesman
Meanwhile, Ferguson may be punished by the FA after comments on assistant referee Simon Beck's decisions during the league match at White Hart Lane on Sunday. The match ended 1-1 after Clint Dempsey's injury-time goal cancelled Robin van Persie's header and resulted in United's lead at the top of table being cut to two points. Champions Manchester City beat Fulham 2-0 at home in their weekend game.
The Scot's ire was drawn after Beck ruled out giving a penalty to United in the second half. Ferguson believes England international Wayne Roone was fouled in the box by Spurs' Steven Caulker but Beck did not flag for a foul.
"I am disappointed with him - we have not had a good record with him," Ferguson told BBC Sport, "It was a clear decision. And he was 10 yards away, maybe 12 yards away from the incident and he doesn't give it. And yet he gave everything else."