Alan Pardew defended the worth of Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak, claiming he remains a valuable part of the midfield setup at Selhurst Park.
The Australia skipper is yet to start a Premier League fixture this season, shuffled out of Pardew’s XI by the arrival of Yohan Cabaye.
Pardew admitted Palace agreed a deal to send Jedinak to Stoke City in the transfer window, but the 31-year-old decided to remain in London.
The former Newcastle boss said he was doing what was in Jedinak’s best interests.
“Mile is a massive character and player for this football club,” Pardew said ahead of Palace’s hosting of Manchester City on Saturday.
“There was a bid accepted by the board here out of respect really.
“He’s a first-team player who’s not playing so I think it’s only fair to him that we’re honest when bids come in to give him the option.
“We gave him the option, but he’s here now to fight for his place. The decision was made by Mile to stay and we’re happy with that.”