Palace working "very hard" on signings with squad "pretty much at the bare bones", says Hodgson
Friday 19 July 2019 23:10, UK
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says he is unaware of Wilfried Zaha telling the club he wants to leave and expects the forward to stay at Selhurst Park this summer.
Zaha, the Ivory Coast international, informed Palace of his desire to move on after returning from the African Cup of Nations, Sky Sports News understands, with Arsenal his preferred destination.
Arsenal had an initial offer worth £40m rejected earlier this month, but the Gunners are expected to improve their bid in the coming days.
Hodgson said earlier this week that Arsenal have not "come anywhere near our valuation" and was keen to play down speculation once again after Friday's 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest in a pre-season friendly.
"He has not spoken to me. I don't know if he's spoken to the club [asking to leave]," said Hodgson, speaking at the City Ground.
"As far as I'm concerned, he is coming back, he is our player and I've been given no information that the club is interested in selling him at the moment. I'm just expecting him back, looking forward to working with him and seeing some of the things he can do for us.
"I think he has got another 10 days or another week of holiday. I think he is back after we play Bristol City and before we play Hertha Berlin - that gives him his three weeks off. If he wants to come back earlier we will be very happy to see him."
It is understood Palace have made an £8m bid for Everton midfielder James McCarthy, who has made just one Premier League appearance since suffering a broken leg against West Brom in January 2018.
Asked about potential incomings after the defeat, Palace boss Roy Hodgson said: "Our chairman [Steve Parish] and sporting director Dougie Freedman are working very hard all the time to try and improve our team and our squad.
"As you saw today, we are pretty much at the bare bones - there was not very much on the bench that we could use because there were a lot of young players that have no experience.
"We would like more players, we are not alone in that respect, but I'm trusting the chairman and Dougie Freedman to bring about the signings that are possible for us."
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