Roy Hodgson denies Jermain Defoe links

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Roy Hodgson, Manager of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage on August 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Roy Hodgson has rubbished claims that Crystal Palace tried to sign Jermain Defoe before he joined Rangers on loan.

Defoe joined Rangers on an 18-month-deal on Sunday and Palace boss Hodgson has come out denying that his club made inquiries for the services of the former Bournemouth striker.

“That’s not true. We had no interest. I saw his name mentioned in relation to the club,” he told Sky Sports.

“But it’s one thing people relating their players to our club, and another thing our club initiating moves to sign a player.

“I can state categorically we made no move at all to sign Jermain Defoe. I like Defoe – I’ve worked with him and think he’s a good player.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on April 21, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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The Belgium international has had a "tough, tough year," but he helped Crystal Palace beat Arsenal 3-2 on Sunday.

“I’m pleased he’s gone to Rangers but we were never one of the candidates for his signature.”

However, Hodgson was glad to welcome Christain Benteke who has been injured for a couple of months.

“Yes, he is. Obviously, he’s short of match practice and the sharpness you only get from playing games,” he said

“It will be a risk putting him in the squad to some extent but he’s come through the training sessions very well.”