Former £8 million Manchester United target signs new deal to link up with Zaha

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park

It is a decade ago Manchester United were linked with Aruna Dindane, now he finds himself at Crystal Palace.

Today is the Football League loan deadline, which has seen a small flurry of activity in the Championship over the past 24 hours.

The big move is undoubtedly the capture of Aruna Dindane by Crystal Palace, who at 32-years-old has switched from a club in Qatar to renew his adventure with English football.

It was at Anderlecht in the early 2000s where he caught the eye, spending five years in Belgium in total, attracting the interest of Europe's big guns.

Back in 2003 Dindane was touted as a transfer target for Manchester United, and subsequently Chelsea, but Anderlecht's stubbornness to demand a fee of around £8 million for the striker saw both clubs elect to walk away.

It was a shame for the Ivorian, because as this Sky Sports report showed, he was being watched by Sir Alex Ferguson and were it not for financial disagreement between the two clubs his career path could have panned out very differently.

Dindane eventually signed for French club Lens in 2005 where his career plateaued, unable to hit the form or heights he had once aspired to.

He went to the World Cup in 2006 with the Ivory Coast, scoring twice, and remained at Lens until being loaned to Portsmouth on a one year loan in 2009.

Dindane scored eight times for the club in total, but his game time was limited by the agreement between Lens and Portsmouth which meant if he performed in a certain number of fixtures then Pompey would owe a fee, but he did play at Wembley twice in the FA Cup semi-final and final which was lost 1-0 to Chelsea.

After two-and-a-half seasons in Qatar, Dindane has once again returned to England, signing a loan deal with Crystal Palace until the end of the current season.

His mission is simple, help score the goals to get Palace promoted; currently the Eagles sit fourth, three points off an automatic promotion spot.

There he will link up with one of English football's most exciting prospects, Wilfried Zaha. The winger is to do in the summer what Dindane never got the opportunity to do, join Manchester United, with a £15 million fee agreed for his services.

If Dindane plays it right, he may just earn himself a permanent deal, and even get the chance to face Zaha as a Red Devil next season in the Premier League.

images: © dustpuppy, © OliverN5

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