Wilfried Zaha will not be available in the January transfer market, says Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, as the club look to hold on to their prized attacker amid interest from Chelsea.
The Ivory Coast international has been in fine form for the Eagles once again this term, several months on from previous speculation that he was set to exit Selhurst Park in pre-season.
The 27-year-old handed in a transfer request then, only for the club to rebuff overtures from Arsenal and Everton for failing to meet their asking price, with the Blues now the latest club chasing his signature.
Though chairman Steve Parish has previously indicated that the club could sell the forward for the right fee, former England boss Hodgson has now weighed in on the matter, stating that he does not expect the ex-Manchester United man to be let go, though he acknowledged matters may change.
"Wilfried Zaha is not for sale so I don't need any assurances [from the board]," he told Sky Sports News. "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.
"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."
Palace themselves will be expected to make several bids of their own during the mid-season window as they look to strengthen their own standing.
They lie only eight points off the top four as it stands, yet only nine off the bottom three too.
"Everyone is aware we need to strengthen because there are certain areas we don't have the cover or the competition that we need," Hodgson added.
"I believe [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."