Crystal Palace chief not expecting assurances over Wilfried Zaha as January transfer window about to open

BY SAM SMITH

Roy Hodgson does not expect to receive assurance that Wilfried Zaha will stay at the club during the January transfer window.

The Crystal Palace winger was the subject of two bids during the summer and has recently been linked with Chelsea. The Blues’ transfer ban has been lifted, allowing them to sign players next month.

Zaha endured a difficult start to the season. That was put down to transfer rumours affecting his form, coupled with returning late to pre-season due to taking part in the Africa Cup of Nations.

He has scored three goals in his last eight appearances.

Asked if he had been promised that he would keep his prized asset, Hodgson said: “Wilfried is not for sale. I don’t need assurances. We are not trying to sell Wilfried Zaha, we have got to try to keep Wilfried Zaha.

“So, what assurances can people give us? I have the assurance that nobody at the club is trying to sell Wilfried Zaha. But, of course, you never know where bids are going to come from, and whenever there is a serious bid for one of your players, the board of directors will take it seriously.

“It’s certainly not something we are looking for, and by the same token, everyone at the club is aware that we need strengthening. We need certain players. We need strengthening in certain areas where we do not have the cover or the competition that we need. I believe that we need to try to put that right, too.

“If you’re asking me if I get assurances, you can’t get assurances unfortunately. You only get people saying: ‘This is what needs to be done, this is the next step for us going forward’, and then hope that leads to players coming through the door who we want, who would make our squad stronger.”

PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD


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