BY DAN KARELL
One of the hottest prospects in the English game will be plying his trade up north, starting July 1.
Wilfried Zaha, just 20-years-old, completed his deal with Manchester United yesterday afternoon, signing a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League club for a reported £15 million transfer fee.
As part of the deal, Zaha has been loaned back to his current club Crystal Palace until the end of the season, as the London team is fighting for promotion back to the EPL.
Zaha has been talked about as England’s latest starlet ever since the start of the 2012-2013 season, and he was given his international debut last November in a friendly match against Sweden.
The Ivory Coast-born midfielder has made 31 appearances for Palace, scoring five goals and adding five assists.
Here are some more stories to get your Saturday started:
COSTA RICA AND HONDURAS TO MEET IN COPA CENTROAMERICANA FINAL
Though they have both already qualified for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, there will still be plenty on the line when hosts Costa Rica face Honduras in the final of the Copa Centroamericano.
Both sides defeated their opponents by a score of 1-0, Costa Rica over El Salvador, and Honduras over Belize, to reach the final, which will be held on Sunday night at the brand-new Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Belize and El Salvador will contest the third-place match, set to take place two hours before the final. Panama, who finished fifth in the tournament, have also qualified for this summer’s Gold Cup.
REAL MADRID SIGNS NEW GOALKEEPER AS INJURY COVER
After learning the news that starting goalkeeper Iker Casillas was to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Real Madrid moved quickly to find a replacement, and snapped up former Madrid youth player Diego Lopez for a reported €3.5 million from La Liga side Sevilla.
Lopez, who only signed at Sevilla this past summer, had found himself the backup goalkeeper to Andres Palop for most of the season, and as such has announced his delight at the move to the Spanish capital. The 31-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with the club.
The move gives Madrid added cover at the goalkeeper position, with backup Antonio Adan likely to remain the teams number two until Casillas is healthy.
BURKINA FASO HITS THE NET IN WIN, ZAMBIA AND NIGERIA PLAY TO A DRAW
Burkina Faso jumped to the top of the group, after an imposing 4-0 win over Ethiopia in African Cup of Nations action yesterday. Burkina Faso’s star midfielder, Alain Traore, scored twice, one in each half, while teammates Djakaridja Kone and Jonathan Pitropia each scored in the second half to complete the rout.
The game was slightly marred in the 60th minute, when referee Camille Bernard dismissed Burkinabe goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama for playing the ball outside of the 18. However, Ethiopia had no answer for the tremendous midfield effort shown by Burkina Faso, and with the win, they move to the top of the group with five points from two games.
In the other Group C action, Zambia and Nigeria played to a 1-1 draw, as a penalty kick goal from Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene in the 85th minute saved Zambia’s hopes of advancing to the knockout round. Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike opened the scoring for the African powerhouse, who like Zambia, have drawn both of their first two matches.
In today’s action from South Africa, Ivory Coast takes on Tunisia, while Algeria faces Togo.
EURO 2020 will take place continent-wide, with 12 host-cities each who will stage three group-stage matches, and one host-city staging the semi-finals and final. (REPORT)
A.C. Milan have ruled out any transfers for Kaka or Didier Drogba, due to financial issues. (REPORT)
Meanwhile, Juventus are rumored to be interested in signing Nicolas Anelka. (REPORT)
Teams in Argentina and Brazil call psudo-retired midfielder Juan Roman Riquelme every day, though he says he doesn’t miss playing football. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you think Zaha can break his way into the starting lineup next season at Man United? Are you surprised that Real Madrid signed another keeper to replace the injured Casillas? Do you think the EURO 2020 venue sharing idea is a good one?
Share your thoughts below.