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Zaha will be wanted in January - Palace boss Hodgson

Zaha signed a five-year deal with the club in the summer. Credit: PA

Roy Hodgson recognises Wilfried Zaha's fine form could lead to interest during the January transfer window.

Since his return from injury, which had contributed to Palace's struggles under Frank de Boer before then, Zaha has inspired the improvement under Hodgson and that gives the manager confidence they will survive in the Premier League.

He hopes to strengthen his squad in January, by when a promising run of fixtures could have led to them vastly improving their prospects, but acknowledges that even if they have, interest in his most influential figure is likely with so many rival clubs having so much money to spend.

"You can't ever dismiss interest in any of your players," said the 70-year-old, whose team on Saturday host Stoke. "Wilf Zaha is an obvious name, but there are other players that I wouldn't be surprised if there were other clubs interested in, and we have to be prepared for that going into January.

"If offers come along for players who are doing well for us and we are not particularly anxious to lose them, then we will have to make decisions on what offers are to be turned down and what could be accepted."

Hodgson is confident, however, Palace will regardless retain Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The on-loan Loftus-Cheek, at 21 four years younger than Zaha, has similarly impressed to the point of making his England debut and suggestions parent club Chelsea should recall him. However the manager believes Palace are protected against that outcome.

"I have a feeling that they have the right to call him back if he is not playing enough games or featuring in enough games, which is a good clause," he said.

"But we are enjoying having him with us and using him in our team, so I don't think I have to fear that at this moment in time."


Wilfried Zaha named in provisional Ivory Coast squad

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has been named in the Ivory Coast's provisional squad for the African Nations Cup.

Zaha has previously earned two caps for England in friendly matches. Credit: PA

Zaha has previously earned two caps for England but as both came in friendly matches he is free to play for the country of his birth.

The 24-year-old recently decided to switch allegiance having grown frustrated at his lack of England recognition, with his last cap coming in 2013 .

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has since indicated that he would like Zaha to remain eligible for England.

But Southgate will have to wait to see if Zaha answers the Ivory Coast's call for the tournament, which begins in Gabon next month.

If he does decide to participate then struggling Palace will be without one of their star performers this season for up to six weeks.

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is also in the 24-man squad.

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