Wilfried Zaha has revealed he was readying himself to join Arsenal in the summer before Manchester United's approach. The 20-year-old Palace star is set to join Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League champions at the end of the season, after a long-drawn battle between the Gunners and the Red Devils over his signature.
The Ivory Coast-born forward signed for Old Trafford in January and is now on loan at Selhurst Park. He has six goals and eight assists in 40 Championship games this season and Palace are fifth in the table, with a two point lead over seventh-placed Derby County in the race for a play-off spot.
"It was always Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal in terms of where I could be going. I have always supported Arsenal. I did not expect United to come in but they did. Arsenal are a good team but United are one of the best in the world," he told The Sun.
The excited youngster also admitted he would be overawed when meeting United legends like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.
"I am just anxious and excited. I cannot wait. It will be something different. When I walk into that dressing room at United, I do not know what I will feel. I will keep my head down as I am there to play football," he stressed.
To Manchester United via England
Zaha has seven caps for the England U21 side but a superb run of games mid-season meant England senior coach Roy Hodgson called him up for an international friendly against Sweden late last year. He made his England debut off the bench, replacing another debutant in Liverpool's Raheem Sterling.
However, FIFA rules mean he could still opt to represent the country of his birth at the international level; he has not yet played a competitive game for England. Zaha has, however, pledged to wait for a full England call-up and he also believes his limited interaction with England senior will help ease him into life at Old Trafford.
"I was part of the squad which played in Sweden. The England team all said 'hello' to me. During that England trip, I spoke to Danny Welbeck and he seemed really nice, so maybe going to Manchester for the first time will be a bit easier," he concluded.