Manchester United are close to clinching a deal for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. The Telegraph says it is believed United are now in prime position to seal a deal, with rival clubs dropping out of the race because, privately, they believe Sir Alex Ferguson has already secured the player.

Tottenham on Tuesday night moved to distance themselves from Zaha, but it is understood numerous Premier League clubs who were following his progress have taken a step back recently because they are sure he is United-bound in a £12 million agreement.

Palace hoped if a deal was agreed this month, United would agree to loan them Zaha for the rest of the season.