Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson admits the club aren't close to bringing in a striker.

The Eagles have been looking to sign a free agent since Christian Benteke suffered a serious knee injury last month.

Palace were linked with former Italy forward Alberto Gilardino, who later joined Serie B side Spezia.

When asked if there was any update on the search for a free agent, Hodgson said: “No.

“That’s the search for a rare pearl, a centre-forward who is out of work and can come in and do a job for Palace.

“It’s not impossible but it doesn’t take up my time. [Sporting director] Dougie Freedman is working on it.”

Meanwhile, Hodgson revealed that star man Wilfried Zaha is available to face Chelsea tomorrow.

MORE: Crystal Palace suffer injury blow ahead of Chelsea clash

The winger has been sidelined with a knee problem for two months, but returned to full training during the international break.

Palace have lost six successive league games in his absence.

Hodgson added: “Wilfried has trained for two weeks over the international break so therefore there is no reason why I shouldn’t consider him for the game against Chelsea.

“The fans will be pleased to see him back on the field.

“But I would urge people to give him the benefit of the doubt in his first few games back as he has been out for over six weeks.

“He did ever so well to come back that quickly from the injury so to expect him to be in the form he was in before is a tough ask. But it has certainly been good to see him in training.”