Zaha transfer saga likely to continue at Crystal Palace this summer, admits Hodgson

Crystal Palace are bracing for another battle to keep hold of Wilfried Zaha, manager Roy Hodgson has admitted.

The Eagles are expecting more interest in their star player after fending off the advances of Arsenal last summer.

Zaha was Unai Emery’s number one target during his final window in charge of the Gunners, but he instead had to settle for Nicolas Pepe.

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Arsenal are unlikely to be able to afford to finance a move for Zaha this time around, but Hodgson is still expecting bids to come in.

“It’s an unknown isn’t it, how much money is going to be floating around in the next window,” Hodgson pondered in a press conference.

“I think we’d be very foolish to relax and start thinking there will be no bids for Wilf Zaha, no big-money interest in him, because he’s such a good player.

“He has the ability to play at any level, anywhere in the world, so who knows? If we find it easy to keep him because there aren’t big bids coming in, that would be fine.

“But I certainly wouldn’t count on that because if I was at another club, I’d be looking to sign players of his quality.”

As well as Zaha, Palace are wary of interest in former Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho.

The 30-year-old has been strongly linked with a return to France with Lyon, but Hodgson says he isn’t aware of any contact.

“As far as I know, our club hasn’t had any contact with Lyon at all,” he said.

“So I don’t quite understand where that is coming from and until such time as the president of Lyon contacts Steve Parish or Doug Freedman, if he wants to go in that route and start discussing the possibilities and options of Mamadou Sakho joining Lyon, as far as I am concerned it doesn’t exist.

“This is just talk in the newspaper and who knows where that comes from because we have had no concrete dealings with Lyon at all.”

Crystal Palace travel to Bournemouth on Saturday evening in their first game back following the coronavirus-enforced break in play.

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