By Wayne Veysey ¦ Chief Correspondent
Liverpool and Manchester City lead the chase for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, Goal.com has learned.
The Premier League big hitters have both made enquiries for the 19-year-old and are weighing up whether to follow up their interest with bids.
Arsenal are also tracking the England Under-21 international but Goal.com understands they are currently considered outsiders in the race to capture one of the hottest prospects from the lower leagues.
Zaha has been a first-team regular at Palace since he was 17 and a key figure in the team’s run of four consecutive league wins, scoring doubles in each of their last two matches.
Liverpool are long-term admirers of the Football League’s 2011-12 Young Player of the Year and there is now growing interest in the starlet from Premier League champions City.
Anfield manager Brendan Rodgers is desperate for more wide options after selling Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez last summer.
The Merseysiders tried to capture Daniel Sturridge on loan and Theo Walcott in the final week of the August window and will attempt to sign a first-team forward in the January window.
As revealed by Goal.com last Friday, Rodgers is an admirer of highly rated PSV Eindhoven winger Dries Mertens and Zaha, who can play either wide or through the middle, is also high among his list of potential targets.
Palace are likely to cash in on their prize asset either in January or next summer, with the bidding expected to start at around the €12.5m mark.
Zaha signed a new five-and-a-half year contract last December, which ties him to Selhurst Park until 2017.
He is the latest Palace Academy graduate to attract the attention of the big Premier League clubs, following John Bostock, Victor Moses and Nathaniel Clyne.