Sir Alex Ferguson has been tracking the highly rated 20-year-old for some time and has struck a £15 million agreement with the Eagles that will see him immediately return to Selhurst Park on loan until the end of the season.
That has alerted the Football League, who are trying to clamp down on such arrangements, and will now go over the transfer with a fine tooth comb, as well as consulting their own rule book.
The ruling that could scupper the Championship high-flyers’ hopes of bringing Zaha back to South London is found in paragraph 46.4 of section six and requires the ‘executive’ approve the switch and return.
Palace co-chairman Steve Parish reassured supporters that he would be back to aid the clubs push for promotion, but if he is prevented Ferguson will be more than happy to keep him at Old Trafford given his eligibility to play in the Champions League.
Both parties are now expected to sit down in an attempt resolve the issue with United prepared to let two players join Ian Holloway’s side if Zaha is refused permission to leave.