Tottenham unlikely to make January bid for Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha appeals to fourth official Mike Dean

Tottenham Hotspur are unlikely to return with a new offer for Wilfried Zaha in the transfer window after the Crystal Palace winger joined up with the Ivory Coast squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Zaha scored his fourth Premier League goal of the season against Swansea City in the 2-1 defeat at Selhurst Park on Tuesday, meaning he has already matched his previous highest tally from 2014-15. The 24-year-old has also six assists, ranking him inside the top 10 players in the division, but is now set to miss up to six weeks of Palace’s campaign having flown to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to meet his new international team-mates.

Ivory Coast, the holders, are once again one of the favourites for the tournament, which begins on 14 January in Gabon, and their progress to the latter stages could mean he does not return to domestic action until the second week of February.

It is understood that potential length of absence has dissuaded Tottenham from launching a new approach for the former Manchester United player, although Mauricio Pochettino remains an admirer of Zaha having seen two bids rejected last summer. Palace had already indicated their unwillingness to allow their prize asset to leave Selhurst Park in January and are thought to value the player in excess of £40m, given that he has another three and a half years remaining on his contract.

Zaha had been due to meet up with the Ivory Coast squad earlier in the week but was given special dispensation to play against Swansea after negotiations with Palace. International clearance complications had threatened his involvement in Sunday’s friendly against Sweden but he is now expected to make his debut for the country of his birth, having won two caps for England in friendles.

There was encouraging news for Sam Allardyce, Palace’s new manager, after it was confirmed the club’s £32m striker Christian Benteke suffered only minor damage to a shoulder ligament. He was withdrawn at half-time against Swansea after a clash with Lukasz Fabianski but Palace’s chairman, Steve Parish, said the 26-year-old’s injury “isn’t as bad as we first feared”. Loïc Rémy is expected to play some part in Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Bolton, having yet to make his debut since signing on loan from Chelsea.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ed Aarons, for The Guardian on Thursday 5th January 2017 16.19 Europe/London

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