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11/01/2013 09:09

Papers: Reds race for Zaha

The Daily Star's Jeremy Cross writes...

Sir Alex fears Arsenal Zaha bid
Manchester United could face a late bid from Arsenal in the battle to sign rising starlet Wilfried Zaha. United have been leading the chase to sign the England and Crystal Palace winger and thought they were in pole position to lure him to Old Trafford. United have still to agree a fee with Palace for Zaha, 20, and are not willing to meet the Championship side’s £16m valuation. But Sir Alex Ferguson is confident of striking a deal that could involve United loaning him back to Palace for the rest of the season. He will have to hold off a late charge from old rival Arsene Wenger, who is out to hijack his bid.

Wayne Rooney is in contention for a place on the bench against Liverpool on Sunday - so say the Mirror, who believe the Reds striker has recovered sufficiently from a knee strain to start light training. The Daily Star, meanwhile, says Rooney has begged Sir Alex to play him in the match.

The Mirror also runs a heart-warming story in which they say Antonio Valencia tracked down UK schoolchildren who raised £4,000 for poverty-stricken kids in his homeland, Ecuador. Antonio donated a signed shirt to be auctioned and sent a thank you letter. The paper later claims a mystery back injury for Valencia could speed up a move for Crystal Palace winger Zaha.

The Sun says United are keeping tabs on the suspiciously familiar-sounding 18-year-old Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David Gil. Elsewhere, Reading boss Brian McDermott has quashed rumours linking Danny Welbeck with a loan move to Reading, saying: "I can't see Sir Alex sending Danny out to any club."

More: The Gossip: January

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