WILFRIED ZAHA "disappeared" from Manchester United action after rumours of an affair with boss David Moyes' daughter, his former team-mate Patrice Evra claimed.
Crystal Palace ace Zaha moved to Old Trafford in 2013 but was mysteriously sidelined following an impressive pre-season as he struggled to break into the first team.
Former left-back Evra, 39, was in the United squad with Zaha and felt he never recovered following rumours of a fling with then manager Moyes' daughter Lauren.
He made the claim while speaking on Sky Sports ahead of Zaha taking to the pitch for the Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Man Utd.
Evra said: "All the Crystal Palace fans, they know Wilfred deserves better than Crystal Palace with all due respect. Such an electric player.
"I remember I think, what's real in his Manchester United career is when he had this true or untrue affair with David Moyes' daughter.
"Because I remember at the pre-season he was playing every day - and when that news comes out... out of the game and he disappeared.
"But what a player."
Zaha, 27, has always dismissed the claims as "silly gossip" and said he has never even met Moyes' daughter.
Sky later issued a statement on Evra's comments, it read: "We have to clarify a comment made earlier in the programme suggesting there may have been a relationship between Wilfried Zaha and David Moyes' daughter.
"We understand that Wilfried Zaha has never met David Moyes' daughter and that the claim made by Patrice was false. We apologise for any offence caused."
Zaha went from Palace to Man Utd for an estimated fee of around £10million for the 2013/14 season on a five and half year contract- the club's last transfer overseen by Sir Alex Ferguson.
But after impressing over the summer, the 21-year-old played just 28 minutes in the Premier League for United and was sent out on loan to Cardiff in January.
He returned to Selhurst Park just one year after leaving, and has since remained at the club.
Speculation as to why he fell out of favour became focused on claims of a relationship between him and Lauren, who has 19 at the time.
Moyes himself was sacked from the job after just ten months despite being handpicked for the role by Ferguson.
The Red Devils endured a bruising campaign under his tenure that saw them finish seventh in the Premier League and fail to get into Europe.
Zaha has lamented his period at the club, and previously said he "didn't really understand" why he fell from grace.
As recently as this June, the Ivory Coast international hit out at Man Utd for failing to offer him any guidance amid the speculation.
In an interview for The Locker Room, he told former team-mate Rio Ferdinand: “No one at the club at all told me anything, I didn't know what to do whatsoever.
“I remember tweeting something about it saying 'silly rumours' because it was getting too much, so I had to say something myself and then I remember the club media messaging me saying 'you shouldn't have done that, you shouldn't have done this' and I'm thinking 'you haven't helped me.'
“I'm here by myself, struggling because people are telling me I've slept with the manager's daughter and that's why you're not playing me.
“The funny thing is, it's carried on for so long I felt like, is the manager not going to come and have a word with me over this?
“That's how I felt and I'm thinking this is ridiculous man. Up to this day I still get people that think that's true and I've never even met his daughter.”
Speaking in 2015 not long after he rejoined Palace following the tough stint at Old Trafford, Zaha said he had never even met Lauren.
He said: "The thing that really frustrated me about the whole United thing was the fact that people didn't know what actually went on at the training ground.
"It was either I slept with David Moyes's daughter or I have got a bad attitude.
"Those are the two rumours that stuck with me until I left. I have had no say since then."
"As soon as anybody sees me now, people think, 'Wilfried Zaha, bad attitude' I don't understand why.
"It's like playing any other team in the league now for me, I don't feel anything about them any more."
He claimed Moyes told him the reason he was didn't make the first team was he "wasn't ready for the Premier league".