Hodgson braced for more Zaha speculation

Crystal Palace
Paris Saint-Germain might end up trying to sign Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha if Neymar leaves before the European transfer window shuts.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson praised Wilfried Zaha after his goalscoring performance against Burnley and is bracing himself for the January transfer window.

Ivory Coast international Zaha handed in a transfer request in the summer in a bid to force through a move to one of the bigger clubs in the Premier League, with Arsenal reportedly showing a keen interest before forking out a club-record £72million to sign Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

Everton, who were one of the biggest spending teams in the top flight during the summer, were also claimed to have had an offer rejected by the Eagles and the 27-year-old forward ended up staying at Selhurst Park, much to his frustration.

Palace chairman Steve Parish recently said he would allow Zaha to leave in January for the right club at the right price and those comments have coincided with a recent return to form for the one-time Manchester United star, who looks to be back somewhere close to his best.

After scoring a belated first goal of the season in last weekend’s 2-1 defeat by Liverpool, the Ivorian netted the opener just before half-time in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Hodgson spoke about Zaha after the win in Lancashire and although happy to have kept the forward, the former England boss knows there is more interest just around the corner.

“We’ve never wanted to lose him. But, when you’re Crystal Palace, and I think Burnley would regard themselves in the same situation, when a player does exceptionally well and there’s lots of clubs after them and prepared to pay big money, it’s not always that easy to keep hold of them,” he said.

“Who knows, there might come a time in the future where we’re confronted with that situation again. But until that day arrives, I’ll carry on working with him, being happy to be working with him and happy that we’ve got a player of his ability to help us win football matches.”

Palace return to Premier League action on Tuesday when they welcome Bournemouth to Selhurst Park.