Football News

Crystal Palace “not trying to sell Wilfried Zaha” amid Chelsea links, says Roy Hodgson

By Ollie Thomas

Wilfried Zaha could be a player to watch this January transfer window

Published: 10:23, 1 January 2020

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson insists the club are not looking to sell Wilfried Zaha in the January transfer window.

Zaha handed in a transfer request on transfer deadline day in the summer amid links with Arsenal and Everton, but a move failed to materialise.

Zaha at Palace: Five things to know…

  • Wilfried Zaha came through the Palace academy and made his first-team debut in 2010.
  • He became Sir Alex Ferguson’s final signing as Man Utd manager in 2013.
  • After a failed season under David Moyes, he returned to Palace in 2014.
  • No one completed more take-ons (166) in the Premier League than Zaha in 2019.
  • He has been heavily linked with Chelsea after their transfer ban was reduced.

Zaha’s current deal expires in 2023, meaning any club that wants to sign him will likely have to break the bank to get Palace to part with their prized asset.

And Hodgson, who was quizzed on the wingers’ future before Palace’s clash with Norwich, remained calm about Zaha’s future.

He said: “Wilfried Zaha is not for sale so I don’t need any assurances (from the board). We are not trying to sell Wilfried Zaha. We want to keep Wilfried Zaha.

“But what assurances can people give? I suppose I have the assurance there is no one at the club anxious to sell Wilfried Zaha.”

Despite Hodgson making his stance clear, he will be aware that offers are likely to come in for their maverick forward.

He added: “Of course, you never know where bids are going to come from and I suppose every time there is a serious bid for one of your players the board of directors need to take it seriously.”

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Hodgson: Incomings a priority

Rest assured most of the speculation will be surrounding Zaha come January, but Palace need to be busy if they are to continue their impressive 2019 form – they finished seventh in the annual table.

The likes of Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp, Gary Cahill, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Benteke are all long-term absentees within an already thin Palace squad.

He added: “Everyone is aware we need to strengthen because there are certain areas we don’t have the cover or the competition that we need. I believe they (the board) will be trying to help put that right but again, you can’t get assurances.

“You can only get people agreeing with you that this is what needs to be done and that this should be the next step going forward. Hopefully that leads to some players coming through the door that will make the squad stronger and increase the competition.”