Alan Pardew plans to give Emmanuel Adebayor his Crystal Palace debut against Bournemouth on Tuesday – but has played down reports Dwight Gayle could be sold.
The Eagles manager insisted only injury kept him from selecting Gayle for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Stoke in the fourth round of the FA Cup, when the impressive Wilfried Zaha scored the game’s only goal.
Pardew had previously spoken of his concerns surrounding Adebayor’s lack of match-fitness, but the absence of Gayle increased speculation he is to leave for Swansea, while Leicester are also reportedly keen.
Adebayor’s arrival last Tuesday on a free transfer until the end of the season will likely further limit Gayle’s first-team chances, given he was already far from a regular.
Swansea having reportedly bid £7million for him suggested Pardew had left him out to encourage the transfer, even if that is something he denies.
“Dwight got four goals in our pre-game (training match) we have on a Friday, but was injured (on Saturday),” Pardew said.
“We’ve kind of pencilled (Adebayor) in to be involved on Tuesday, so we’ll have to wait and see. I think there’s a good chance.
“We had a few players missing (against Stoke), lost a couple at half-time, but everybody really put in a performance at their level or above their level, and you can’t ask for more than that.
“You could see by the results in the FA Cup, the Premier League (teams are) taking this competition a lot more seriously than before.”