• Eagles co-owner and chairman Steve Parish says winger is a "joy to work with".
  • The Gunners have been linked with signing Zaha if Alexis Sanchez leaves in January.

Arsenal have been warned off making a January move for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha after co-owner and chairman Steve Parish insisted the prospect of the Ivory Coast international leaving the club in the New Year was preposterous.

The Sun suggested earlier this month that the Gunners had identified Zaha as the number one option to replace Alexis Sanchez if the Chile international joins Manchester City in the winter window.

Reports indicate Arsenal would be willing to spend as much as £35m to bring the ex-Manchester United wideman to The Emirates Stadium, due to his experience in the Premier League and form since returning to Palace.

Zaha has been key to the Eagles' improvement under Roy Hodgson with three goals in seven appearances – contributions which delivered the shock win over Premier League champions Chelsea and home draws against West Ham United and Everton.

He missed eight games in the early part of the season due to a knee problem but having returned to full fitness Parish wants Palace to continue to benefit from his enormous talent.

"That is out of the question [him leaving]," Parish told BBC Sport, ahead of the 2-1 weekend win over Stoke City in which Zaha played the full 90 minutes. "We need to keep going, make sure we get as high as we can up this league. Working with Wilf and having Wilf around the club is fantastic. He cares so much about this club. He's a joy to work with for every manager and obviously he makes a big difference to us on the pitch."

Despite Sam Allardyce leaving Palace at the end of last season, Zaha put pen-to-paper on a new five-year contract worth £110,000-a-week [The Guardian] last May to commit his long-term future to the Selhurst Park club.

Yet, Zaha remains subject of speculation – he has previously been linked with Tottenham Hotspur and City – and Palace boss Hodgson admitted last week he expects clubs to be interested in the player when the market reopens.

"You can't ever dismiss interest in any of your players," he told reporters, according to the Evening Standard. "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."

Central to any bid from Arsenal for Zaha appears to be the future of Sanchez, who manager Arsene Wenger has admitted could leave in January.

The Chile international was close to joining City on deadline day in August before Arsenal pulled the plug on the move after withdrawing from talks to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco.

Finding a replacement will be vital to Arsenal's future, if City or any other rival club attempt to lure him away from north London. He scored his third goal in five Premier League games in the late win at Burnley, to re-emphasise his importance to the north Londoners.

Wilfried Zaha
Zaha has played a major role in Palace's resurgence under Roy Hodgson. Getty Images