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Sep 21, 2012

Martinez: We can't afford Zaha

Roberto Martinez has revealed Wigan have been out-priced in their chase for Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha.

• Brown: Rodallega returns

Zaha, 19, is one of the hottest prospects in England to ply his trade outside of the top flight, winning the 2012 Football League's Young Player of the Year, and has long been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park to the Premier League.

Wigan reportedly had a £3 million bid rejected for the England Under-21 winger over the summer, and with the player currently tied down to a long-term contract, Palace are believed to want at least £6 million for his services.

Martinez is a keen admirer of the youngster, but he admits the asking price is out of reach for his club.

"I think Wilfried has tremendous potential," Martinez said in the Daily Mirror. "He has grown massively over the last 12 months. The first time we saw him was against us in the Carling Cup a year ago, but he has come on a lot since then.

"Crystal Palace have high thoughts of him. I don't think it is going to be a realistic player for us. In these situations it has to be value for money."

However, the Wigan boss may make a move for Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza, who impressed at the Olympics for Honduras and is shortly out of contract, becoming available on a free transfer next month.

"We will keep a close eye on him," Martinez added. "We have got really strong links with Honduras and have been very successful there with Wilson Palacios, Hendry Thomas and Maynor Figueroa."

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