(Reuters) – Crystal Palace are confident their talismanic winger Wilfried Zaha will spend many more seasons at the Premier League club despite expressing his desire to play in the Champions League, manager Roy Hodgson has said.
Zaha, who scored in Sunday’s 3-2 win at Arsenal, signed a new contract in August to stay at Selhurst Park until 2023 but British media reports say he has caught the eye of a number of top clubs in England and Europe with his strong performances.
The Ivory Coast international said he felt he was missing out as he watched matches in Europe’s elite club competition.
“He’s on a four-year contract, he’s one of our highest-paid players and he’s absolutely adored by the fans and everyone in south-east London,” Hodgson told the BBC.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m looking forward to working with him not only in the near future, but I’m looking forward to seeing him in the Palace shirt for many years to come.
“The question is how many players… would say: ‘I don’t want to play Champions League football’… he’s our player, and he’s certainly happy. That wasn’t the performance of a guy looking to get away from his club.”
Zaha, 26, took his season’s goal tally to nine in the league and said he was not distracted by talk of a potential move.
“To be honest the only thing I’m thinking about is Palace. I’m a Palace player right now and I don’t know what the future holds for me,” Zaha said.
Victory at Arsenal ensured Palace’s top flight status for another season as they moved to 12th spot with 42 points.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)