Zaha: I want to establish myself as a Premier League player with a January transfer

Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha has admitted he wants to establish himself as a Premier League footballer by making a move to the top flight in the January transfer window.

The 20-year-old England international has attracted interest from a number of leading clubs, including Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, and has revealed if a Premier League club made an offer for him in the transfer window, then he would make the move.

“I want to establish myself in the Premier League and in international football,” he told the Mail on Sunday.

“I’m not a teenager any more, I’ve played more than 100 first-team games and this year is crucial to develop my football career.

“I’ve played a lot in the Championship so having that new challenge in the Premier League, where everyone wants to be, would be great.

“To be honest, if I had the chance in January and Palace agreed, it’s something I’d want to go for,” he added, revealing that his involvement with top-flight players while on England duty has stimulated his ambition.

“The little bits we did in training with England were more intense than I’d been used to,” he said.

“Playing with Premier League players tested me, it was a great challenge but I felt comfortable in that company. Steven Gerrard’s shooting made the biggest impression on me. I don’t know how he got that amount of sheer power, it was impressive!”

He also talked about his relationship with Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling, with whom he has become close friends.

“I have a good relationship with Raheem,” he said. “He’s 18 and I can joke around with him. We have that understanding.

“There was an article where people thought I was comparing myself to Ronaldo and Messi. He was bantering with me about it, saying, ‘‘You think you are better than those guys!’ We laughed about it, because he just knew that wasn’t my personality at all really.”

Zaha, who was born in the Ivory Coast, has made 119 first team appearances and scored 15 goals for Crystal Palace since signing for the south London outfit in 2010.

'We don't look at any player from Manchester United' – Wenger denies Nani to Arsenal rumours

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dismissed speculation that Nani could move to the north London club next month.


Nani has been linked with a £20 million transfer to the Gunners in the run up to the January transfer window, but Wenger is adamant that no discussions have been held.

The Arsenal boss has stated that he is not considering any Manchester United players as January targets, effectively ruling out the possibility of a Nani transfer to the Emirates Stadium.

Asked about the speculation by reporters following his side’s 7-3 victory over Newcastle, Wenger replied: “Nani? No.

“We don’t look at any player from United because players are under contract and I don’t think they would sell a player during the course of the season. They don’t need money.”

Cold water has also been poured on the rumour in Manchester, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson maintaining that he wants to keep Nani at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.

“His contract isn’t up for a year and a half,” said Sir Alex. “We need Nani. He offers something different from the other players. He’s an incredible talent, the boy.”

The Scot explained: “Unfortunately, he’s injured at the moment. We have sent him over to Dubai for a break, to help him in his recovery.

“He’s not far away [from a return to full fitness] but he’s far enough away. I don’t think I will get him until the middle of January.

“He’s got a future here.Why would I want to let him go?”

Since joining United from Sporting Lisbon in 2007, Nani has made 205 first-team appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 38 times in the process.

Bojan return to Barcelona possible, says father

Bojan Krkic could return to Barcelona in 2013, his father has revealed, despite not having shone during his time in Serie A.

The attacker was sold to Roma for an estimated €12 million in 2011 but was loaned out to AC Milan for this season, but Barca retain a buy-back option on their former player.

Bojan’s father told CONE: “He’s in a privileged situation because he belongs to two of the biggest clubs in the world. You can’t rule out him going back to Barcelona.”

The 22-year-old’s parent also hinted that Tito Vilanova being in charge made Camp Nou a more enticing prospect, hinting at troubles with former head coach Pep Guardiola.

“The Guardiola matter is in the past and the truth is that with Tito we’ve always had a good relationship and mutual appreciation,” he added. “We don’t talk about Guardiola anymore.”

His current club, Milan, will face Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League in February, and the Spaniard’s father admitted that his son would have liked to have played a less daunting side.

“He would have preferred other opponents, or at least facing Barcelona later, because any team that comes up against them is inferior,” he concluded.

Walcott: Talks are ongoing, something will be sorted soon

Arsenal striker Theo Walcott has stated that “something will be sorted soon” on his future at the north London club, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

The 23-year-old scored his second hat-trick of the season in the Gunners’ exhilarating 7-3 victory over Newcastle. Walcott has admitted talks are ongoing, although the England international will be permitted to speak to other clubs when the transfer window opens on January 1.

“I will continue to play my football,” he told BBC Sport. “Talks are ongoing and I’m sure something will be sorted soon.”

New York Red Bulls and former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has been training with the Gunners recently and Walcott admits he has learned from the Frenchman. Henry is expected to rejoin Arsenal on-loan in the January transfer window in a similar deal to the one that saw him sign for the Gunners during the MLS off-season last year.

“I have learned in the years when Henry has been here,” Walcott told ESPN. “But he has started training with us as well, so just to be around him other players are going to gain more and more experience.

“He’s shown what qualities he has last season, so hopefully [a loan deal] can be sorted out and [we can] learn from the best.”

Ancelotti rules out further PSG signings

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out any signings in the January transfer window.

Lucas Moura will be the only new arrival in the winter break at Parc des Princes, though his signing from Sao Paulo was finalised during the summer for a reported €45 million.

Ancelotti praised the 20-year-old’s talent, and insisted that he has faith in his current squad to succeed this season.

“He is a great player, a young player, and he will be the future of the club,” the PSG boss was quoted in L’Equipe.

“We are happy because it was not easy to recruit a player as important as he is and he can help the team do better. But [we will not sign others] because we have a very good team and very good players.

“We made a big push in the summer transfer window and signed several players. There is no need to recruit any more.”

Lucas’ signing means that Ancelotti’s squad size has increased to 30, and the Ligue 1 coach admitted that he is open to players leaving in January.

“Managing 30 players is not easy,” the former Chelsea and AC Milan boss added. “If players want to leave the club, we can think about it but right now there is nothing official.”