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'I'm just expecting Zaha back' - Hodgson denies knowledge of Crystal Palace star exit request

02:35 GMT+3 20/07/2019
Wilfried Zaha Crystal Palace 2018-19
The Ivory Coast star has reportedly told the club of his desire to join Arsenal but their manager claims to have heard of no such request

Roy Hodgson says he expects Wilfried Zaha back at Crystal Palace and denied any knowledge of the winger requesting a transfer away from the club.

The Ivory Coast star has been the subject of interest from Arsenal this summer, with Hodgson himself declaring the Gunners offer did not come “anywhere near” the club’s valuation for him earlier this week.

Earlier this month, Zaha’s brother spoke of Arsenal being a “dream” move for the Palace winger and pleaded with the club to let him move on.

Reports circulated this week indicating Zaha had informed Palace he wanted a move away from the club upon his return from the Africa Cup of Nations, but Hodgson insists he has heard nothing of the sort.

"He has not spoken to me. I don't know if he's spoken to the club [asking to leave]," Hodgson told reporters.

"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.”

Zaha is currently away from the club as he receives time off following Ivory Coast’s participation in AFCON, which saw the nation fall to eventual champions Algeria on penalties in the quarter-final stage.

And Hodgson does foresee any issues with the Palace star, and hopes he might even consider cutting his vacation short to rejoin the club in their pre-season preparations.

“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."

Palace continued their preparations with 1-0 friendly defeat to Nottingham Forest on Friday.

The club are set to face Bristol City, Wimbledon and Hertha Berlin in other friendly matches before kicking off their Premier League campaign on August 10 against Everton.