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Liverpool Lose Out To Premier League Rival In Wonderkid Pursuit

Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha set for Reebok Stadium.

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Bolton Wanderers look set to beat Liverpool and Newcastle United to the signing of Crystal Palace wonderkid Wilfried Zaha, after their manager Owen Coyle confirmed a bid had been lodged.

However, the clubs have yet to reach an agreement on the valuation of the young Englishman, and at present the deal is some way off reaching its conclusion.

“I don’t think it is to the value that the Crystal Palace chairman [Steve Parish] wants,” said Coyle.

“But it is an offer we felt was fair for where a very talented young player is at the moment.”

“I always put what I think is a fair value on a player and if we get to it, great,” added Coyle.

“He is such a talented young player and he will get better – there is scope for improvement. He has got pace and unbelievable quality and natural attributes.

“But at the moment it looks as if we are a way apart in terms of valuation.”

Zaha, who is 19 years of age, has won praise for his performances this season, as he has made the somewhat daunting step up to regular first team football in fine style.

In Crystal Palace’s recent loss on penalties to Cardiff City in the Carling Cup semi-final, Zaha was a constant outlet on the left flank.

His pace and trickery meant that Cardiff often committed an additional man to attempt to stop him, which of course frees up space for the rest of the team to take advantage of.

Five goals in 32 appearances for the South London team this season have seen the youngster linked heavily with moves to either Newcastle United or Liverpool, but it is Bolton Wanderers who have made the first move.

However, Crystal Palace are in a strong position.

The fact that Zaha signed a new five and a half year contract to stay at Selhurst Park as recently as last month gives them plenty of negotiation room, and Bolton may have a difficult period of bartering in the next few days.

Liverpool and Newcastle will be watching with keen interest.

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