Wilfried Zaha is expected to have a long list of suitors if he enters free agency next summer, with Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur being touted as the frontrunners. Former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan told the Crystal Palace star to pick Mikel Arteta's side over Antonio Conte's team owing to the former employing a more attacking style of play.

Apart from a dreadful spell at Manchester United, and a short loan at Cardiff City in 2014, Zaha has spent his entire career with the Eagles. The winger has made over 350 appearances for the south London club. As it stands, the Ivorian, who has just over six months remaining on his deal with Palace, is not expected to extend.

Arsenal have long been linked with a move for Zaha, but have always fallen short of meeting Palace's hefty demands for the forward. Similarly, Spurs have also had the winger on their radar, but have never followed up from their initial interest.

With Zaha potentially being available on a free transfer next summer, both clubs are reportedly preparing to battle it out for his signature. The African forward's quality has never been in question, and he comes with the added benefit of being a Premier League veteran.

Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha is expected to enter free agency next summer with Arsenal and Tottenham leading the chase Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Arteta is seeking attacking reinforcements in January following the injury to star number nine Gabriel Jesus, but has other options in mind at the moment. However, the Spanish coach has always been an admirer of Zaha and could make an approach sooner rather than later.

Conte, meanwhile, is always in the market for attacking reinforcements, and Zaha fits the mould of players the Italian seeks. There is a view that suggests he could convert the Palace legend into a wing-back similar to the role Ivan Perisic currently plays for Spurs.

"It comes down to his personal choice between Arsenal and Tottenham," Whelan told Football Insider. "There's been growth from both sides in the last couple of years. You could probably see him more as an Arsenal-type player because of that attacking brand of football."

"Conte's style is more defensive, more counter-attacking. There's a bit more of a flow to Arsenal's game, which would probably suit Zaha more than Tottenham. Where would I see him benefit and have more success? Probably at Arsenal under Arteta."

The Gunners want to sign a forward in January, and have been linked to a number of players in recent weeks. Shakthar Donetsk's Mykhaylo Mudryk is top of the list, while Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix has also been regularly mentioned as a target in recent weeks.

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta lambasted his side's performance at Newcastle AFP / Oli SCARFF