EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle boss Pardew aims to be first in queue to land Eagle Zaha
Newcastle will open talks with Crystal Palace next week aimed at securing first option on Wilfried Zaha.
The Palace forward, 19, is wanted by manager Alan Pardew this month, but the Championship club are not ready to sell.
Zaha is valued at 10million by Palace and they recently gave him a new five-and-a-half-year deal.
Wanted man: Wilfried Zaha is on the radar of several Premier League clubs
The second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Cardiff is on January 24 — before the end of the transfer window — and Zaha wants to play in the final on February 26 if his club, who lead 1-0 from the first leg, make it through.
Newcastle want the player now, but Palace will not consider an offer until after the Cardiff game. The Eagles are not under pressure to sell and boss Dougie Freedman wants Zaha to stay.
Don't go! Paddy McCarthy (left) believes Zaha is better off at Palace
Palace captain Paddy McCarthy insists it would be wrong to let Zaha leave, saying: ‘He is probably the most naturally gifted individual I’ve come across. The manager has managed him and the other young lads brilliantly. It would be criminal for these lads to move on too early.’
Stoke are ready to compete with Newcastle for Zaha. Liverpool and West Bromwich are also interested.