Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson wasted little time in refuting claims from various red tops that on the day of Palace completing the shockingly impressive signing of Max Meyer, their biggest was looking to leave. The Mirror even claimed that Zaha would consider handing in a transfer request, which would make him especially sociopathic given that just a few hours prior, he had apparently spoken with Hodgson and gave no indication of ever thinking about such things.
“I spoke to Wilf yesterday and he certainly gave me no indication it was true about wanting to quit the club. In fact, we were talking about how good the new signings were and how they would help us.”
Palace certainly have done some decent business this summer as they look to build on last season’s mid-table finish. Ruben Loftus-Cheek may be back at Chelsea, but they brought in Cheikhou Kouyaté from West Ham and the aforementioned Meyer from Schalke 04 just in the last couple days to help shore up the midfield, while they added a strong goalkeeper option in Vicente Guaita last month as well.
But rumors are an entirely different beast, not often rooted too well in reality. At least that’s what Hodgson is banking on in this case.
“I’m afraid I prefer to stay in that world where I speak to the players and watch them train rather than follow what is happening in the mass media.
“The thing with Wilf is very simple. He’s very much an integral part of our plans. He’s very much an integral part of Crystal Palace Football Club. Everyone likes him. Everyone admires him, he knows that and I think he likes and respects the club as well.
“So, my hope and my plan absolutely is that he will stay. I’ll let the speculation continue and I will continue happy to work with him. [He] is a top class player and I’m sure there are many clubs, not only in England but in the rest of the world, who would like to have him.
“But, as I say, he is contracted to us and he is our player and we have every intention of him continuing to be our player, at least while his contract with us.”
-Roy Hodgson; source: talkSport
Seems pretty clear.
And yet at the same time, undeterred by Palace’s apparent stance, rumors of a second Chelsea bid are already materializing. The first approach was said to be around £30m, but the second one could be double that, even, and may include a certain Danny Drinkwater, who plays nothing like Zaha and certainly wouldn’t make the bid “irresistible” (the operative word of yesterday’s stories), but who are we to look for logic in the rumor mill?