Roy Hodgson Discusses Wilfried Zaha's Future Amid Arsenal and Everton Rumours


HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15:  Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace (R) and Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace speak ahead of the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace at John Smith's Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson doesn’t have answers about the future of winger Wilfried Zaha, who has been heavily linked with Premier League rivals Arsenal and Everton during this summer’s transfer window.

Eagles manager Hodgson spoke to Sky Sports (h/t Goal’s Chris Burton) after watching his team beat Championship side Bristol City 5-0 in a preseason friendly on Saturday:

He’s dealing with the chairman (Steve Parish). The chairman’s his link, they know each other very well and get on very well. Most of what’s going on with Wilf is going on between him and the chairman and I can’t enlighten you at all.

“What I know, you know. I know it through reading your websites and newspapers that this or that is happening, but I can’t enlighten you at all.”

Hodgson answered “I don’t know” when asked directly if Everton have bid for Zaha. The Toffees were said to have recently offered £60 million and forward Cenk Tosun, according to Matt Law of The Daily Telegraph.

Zaha has also been the subject of a £40 million bid from Arsenal earlier this summer.

The Eagles have stayed steadfast on their valuation of £80 million, though. Their defiance has led Arsenal in a different direction, with the north London club reportedly closing in on a deal for Lille’s Nicolas Pepe.

BBC Sport’s David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano of the Guardian provided details of Arsenal’s pursuit of Zaha’s Ivory Coast team-mate:

Pepe helped himself to 22 goals and 11 assists last season; Zaha had 10 goals and five assists for Palace during the 2018/19 campaign. Ornstein told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport that securing Pepe’s signature will end Arsenal’s interest in Zaha:

Everton could also soon be out of the race after reports emerged of interest in Juventus forward Moise Kean:

Along with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Theo Walcott, the 19-year-old would leave Everton amply stocked with versatile attackers.

A lack of exit options may convince Zaha to remain at Selhurst Park. Hodgson will hope so because Zaha remains the best player in his squad and will be key to the Eagles staying in England’s top flight.

Keeping Zaha would be a coup for Palace, one bigger than any signing Hodgson could make this summer. The player may be ready to move on, but his options appear to be dwindling.

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