Three candidates to potentially replace Crystal Palace chief Hodgson

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed he and the board "are in it together" as they look set to offer the England coach a fresh contract.

Reports on Thursday confirmed that Palace are planning to sit down with Hodgson as they try to extend his current contract beyond the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

The 72-year-old has yet to agree on fresh terms, but appears ready to consider an extension, even though he has been left frustrated during the last two transfer windows.

Palace only managed to sign Cenk Tosun on loan from Premier League rivals Everton, with their £11million bid for Nathan Ferguson falling through due to an issue with his medical.

Even though Hodgson failed to add the players he wanted, he is willing to talk to chairman Steve Parish next week after the clash with Everton at Goodison Park.

“The chairman and I have had very positive discussions during the week,” he told reporters on Friday. “I shall no doubt, have further discussions in the coming days. When you’re a manager, you sometimes have to read other people’s opinions of how I’m feeling.

“There’s no difference in opinion about what needs to be done, just getting the right players into the building is a lot harder. That’s something that impacts us all. It’s not me versus anybody, we’re in this together.”

So it would appear that Hodgson is days away from putting pen to paper, but this is the Premier League, and nothing is guaranteed to work. Palace are on a poor run of late, losing their last two matches to Southampton and Sheffield United.

The Eagles last won a game on Boxing Day, and they are also out of the FA Cup after losing to Derby County at the start of the month. Hodgson’s men are now only six points away from the relegation zone and their lack of firepower could come back to haunt them.

So if Hodgson ends up taking Palace down, we look at three potential replacements they could turn to in the summer.

Rafa Benitez

Palace have only had two European managers since 1998, and it is fair to say neither experiment worked very well.

Italian Attilio Lombardo lasted just seven matches, while 2017 appointment Frank de Boer was gone after five. So suggesting Benitez maybe a little silly but he would be the best choice if Palace had the chance to talk to him. The Spaniard has won trophies in previous spells in England and he has coached some of the biggest teams in the world.

The 59-year-old was not interested in a recent return to the Premier League with Arsenal or Tottenham, but after another six months in China, he may fancy returning to England.

Chris Hughton

The 61-year-old should be easy to open talks with, as he is currently unemployed after leaving Brighton last summer.

He helped the club into the Premier League and avoid relegation but his negative style of play was an issue for the Seagulls’ fans.

Hughton has had time to digest that spell and Palace would at least be a steadying influence, although his Brighton connections may not play well with the fans.

Lee Bowyer

This one is a little left-field, but Bowyer is showing all the potential to have a fine career as a coach. He guided Charlton into the Championship, but Palace’s board may be worried about his lack of experience.

However, going for old heads has not exactly worked out in the past, with Neil Warnock, Alan Pardew and Tony Pulis all enjoying mixed spells. Bowyer has worked wonders with injuries and a shoestring budget, and if he keeps Charlton up, may play himself into contention for a bigger job.