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United's Zaha looks forward to bright future

ESPN staff
August 5, 2014
Louis van Gaal is ready to take tough decisions

Wilfried Zaha appears to believe he is going to prosper this season despite being tipped for the Manchester United axe as Louis van Gaal gets ready to break the bad news to unwanted players.

The new manager has said that he will inform the squad members he does not think will make the grade this week after flying home from their US tour, on which they remained unbeaten after concluding it with a 3-1 win against Liverpool in Miami.

Zaha was one of the fringe players thought to be under serious threat, along with Javier Hernández and Shinji Kagawa, who are being pursued by Atletico Madrid, Marouane Fellaini, who Napoli want on loan, Anderson and Nani. Ashley Young was also considered vulnerable but has impressed on tour.

But the former Crystal Palace forward, who was sent on loan to Cardiff last season, says he is looking forward to the season despite Dutchman Van Gaal only granting him two substitute appearances in five games on tour.

After the win against Liverpool on Monday night, Zaha, an unused substitute, posted the following picture of him and Van Gaal on Instagram, with this message attached: "Great experience and we've won too ... Looking forward to learning and progressing more this season.

Zaha has previously talked up his prospects at United after being given a "clean slate" and is in a positive frame of mind as Van Gaal finalises his transfer plans with Ed Woodward, the Manchester United executive vice-chairman, this week.

The manager has insisted he is in no rush to add to his squad and is said to have been impressed by youngsters such as Tyler Blackett, Reece James and Michael Keane during the two-week trip, taking a patient approach as he seeks greater quality rather than quantity.

However, Van Gaal remains keen to add an experienced centre-half, with Mats Hummels reportedly ahead of Thomas Vermaelen on his wishlist.

Van Gaal, after the International Champions Cup win against Liverpool, said: "I cannot say anything fresh about players. That you can understand. When I say something it raises the price, so it's not nice."

Central midfield is another area Van Gaal wants to strength but he has admitted that the defence is his priority with Patrice Evra having left United for Juventus last month and Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic already gone.

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