LONDON (Reuters) – Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha is staying at Crystal Palace despite handing in a transfer request, manager Roy Hodgson said on Thursday.
The 26-year-old has been linked to Premier League rivals Arsenal and Everton during the transfer window but Palace have refused to accept an offer below their 80 million-pound ($97 million) valuation.
“Yes, he’s staying, absolutely. We are pleased about that. He’s an important player for the club,” Hodgson told Sky Sports television.
“We are looking forward to him doing this season, what he’s done for the last two seasons.”
Arsenal reportedly had a 40 million-pound offer rejected in July, when Zaha’s brother Judicael said it was the player’s dream to play for the North Londoners.
Media reports said Everton had valued Zaha at about 60 million pounds.
“It’s been well-documented that he’s wanted to leave but it’s not worked out for him in that respect,” said Hodgson, who sent Zaha home from training on Thursday, the last day of the transfer window.
“I think everyone here has a good relationship with him so there’s not a problem with that.
“His beef is with the chairman and owners of the club because he’s wanted to leave and they haven’t received the offer that they think is sufficient to allow him to leave,” added the former England manager.
Zaha was key to keeping Palace in the top flight last season, scoring 10 league goals in 34 appearances. The highest paid player at the South London club, he signed a new five-year deal last August.
($1 = 0.8240 pounds)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)