Wilfired Zaha may have moved a step closer to an exit from Selhurst Park as rumours emerged that Manchester United are set to make Crystal Palace an offer in January that will see the 20-year-old remain at Palace until the end of the season.
The deal is likely to be more palatable to the Eagles, who risk missing out on promotion if they allow their young starlet leave the club in the winter transfer window.
The youngster has become one of the most sought after players in the country with Arsenal and Manchester City also interest in the Ivorian-born striker’s signature.
With Nani seemingly on his way out of Old Trafford in the not so distant future, Sir Alex Ferguson will be keen to find a replacement to provide competition for Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia.
Many have come to question whether the England international is worthy of the £15m price tag that the Eagles have slapped upon him. United are clearly not daunted by the prospect of splashing the cash, and in contrast to their rivals, they are rarely criticised of paying over the odds for a single player, with £15m seen as the going rate at Old Trafford for a first class winger.
Additionally with United prepared to wait until the summer for Zaha to join up with the rest of the first team squad, there is a better chance that he will mould into the first team quicker than should he arrive mid-season.
The cash now, player later option that United are offering would also allow Palace to bring in a replacement for Zaha, plus other additions to bolster their push for promotion.
This could see Palace boss Ian Holloway make a move for Blackpool winger Tom Ince, from under the noses of Liverpool. However Zaha, a lifelong Arsenal fan, may snub a move to Old Trafford and wait for the Gunners to come calling in the summer.