According to one Roy Hodgson, Wilfried Zaha is not for sale.
The former Three Lions and Liverpool manager has put out a rather emphatic statement that the forward linked with Everton is under a long term contract and will not be moving anywhere. Speaking at a preseason press conference, Hodgson said:
“What people seem to forget with Wilf [Zaha] is he has got a four-year contract.
“There is speculation every year around [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo too. He is our player for the next four years and the club has got no interest or desire to sell him.”
I’m actually very glad he brought this up, since Ronaldo just transferred from Real Madrid to Juventus despite having a contract that ran through 2021. It may be a surprise, then, to ol’ Roy that players with long term contracts move teams on a regular basis.
Another rather obvious issue with his comparison is that Lionel Messi currently and Ronaldo before this reason move were very long term members of their clubs, and a move up the ladder of world football was essentially impossible. Even as Ronaldo has moved, it has been to a lesser league and less prestigious club.
Needless to say, from Crystal Palace there are innumerable ways to move up in the world of football, and moving to Everton is just one of those possibilities.
This seems to be typical manager-speak from Hodgson, the sort of wearying posturing that usually only takes place when they feel a significant player of theirs could potentially leave, and a reminder to potential suitors about leverage in determining a fee.
I consider a move for Zaha by Everton very unlikely especially for the prices being mentioned. It is true that if Yannick Bolasie and Ademola Lookman do move on as rumored that we will be in dire need of a left winger, but time before the season is short and the outlay would be incredibly significant.
That said, in this instance it would cause a not insignificant amount of mirth for me if Hodgson put out these bold claims only to see his best forward stripped off his team, whether by us or someone else.