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Sunday, 15 December 2019

Ivory Coast striker Zaha linked with bigger clubs, says Crystal Palace coach

Reuters , Thursday 21 Dec 2017
Wilfried Zaha
Ivory Coast and Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha (Photo: Reuters)
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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said he cannot guarantee that in-form Wilfried Zaha will be at the London club beyond the January transfer window.

Zaha has scored four goals in 12 league starts for Palace, including in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Leicester City, and has added plenty of energy and dynamism to the 14th-placed club’s attack this season.

The Ivory Coast international joined Manchester United in 2013 and returned to Palace after struggling for starts, but his recent form has made him a target for Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal according to British media reports.

“I don’t think as a manager you can ever give guarantees on anything,” Hodgson told reporters ahead of their Premier League trip to bottom club Swansea City.

”It’s a great credit to the club and Zaha that there are rumours circulating about so-called bigger clubs thinking about making a bid.

”If the day comes when one of those rumours are no longer rumours, I’ll come to terms with it and deal with it.

“Of course I do (want him to stay). I‘m very happy with the way he’s playing and I have no doubt that will continue until the day when he can no longer do it for us. Like most Palace fans, I hope that’s a long way off.”

Club captain Jason Puncheon is available after being charged with assault and being in possession of an offensive weapon after an incident following a night out on Saturday.

The 31-year-old London-born Puncheon was arrested in the early hours of Sunday and is due to appear at Guildford Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 5.

“We had a private conversation... at the moment we don’t know the exact facts of the situation but he’s made it clear he’s determined to make himself available and to do the best job he can while this matter is being sorted,” Hodgson said.

Striker Christian Benteke is suspended for the game while forward Connor Wickham is back in training after suffering cruciate ligament damage last November.

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