Crystal Palace face a major managerial dilemma ahead of next season as uncertainty over Roy Hodgson’s future grows.
The club’s finances, which have been majorly impacted by Covid, look set to play a key factor as the club weighs up the crucial decision of who will be in charge next season.
Hodgson’s existing contract expires in May but there is yet to be a resolution over whether the former England manager will remain in charge for the 2021-22 campaign.
Roy Hodgson’s contract as manager of Crystal Palace is set to expire at the end of the season
There was an expectation that this would mark the 73-year-old’s final season at Selhurst Park given his contractual situation.
Palace’s long-term vision is to appoint a younger coach and there are some who believe this summer represents the perfect opportunity to carry out that plan.
But Sportsmail understands Hodgson’s anticipated departure this summer is not a formality.
Hodgson’s Palace side fell to a 2-0 Premier League defeat at Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds on Monday
There is an acknowledgement behind the scenes at Palace that appointing a new manager for next season represents a significant risk, even more so because of the pandemic’s impact on finances.
Sources claim Palace’s losses could be upwards of £20million and relegation from the Premier League would have major ramifications for the south London club.
But there is also an acknowledgement that those budgetary constraints will impact any search for a new manager.
There is an acceptance at Palace that under Hodgson the team will continue to have a very strong chance of maintaining their top-flight status.
Indeed, there is a feeling among certain figures that extending Hodgson’s contract represents the club’s best option for next season.
Some at the club believe Palace should focus on keeping Hodgson in place for next season
The club and Hodgson are yet to hold formal discussions over how to proceed as they focus on securing their top-flight status with all parties said to be very relaxed by the situation.
Another consideration is that the Palace squad will likely require a sizeable rebuild ahead of next season with 16 players currently out of contract the end of the season.
Extending the contracts of players they want to keep is the priority for the club – a stance Hodgson is said to accept.
Funds to sign new players will also be significantly limited – not necessarily an attractive proposition for any new manager.
Forthcoming discussions between Hodgson and Palace will prove pivotal towards who is in charge next season.
Hodgson, privately and publicly, is playing his cards close to his chest, with the club uncertain about whether he would even want to extend his stay at Selhurst Park into a fifth season.
Former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe is said to have his admirers in the Palace boardroom
But it is understood Hodgson would consider an extension, but will not plead with for one.
Palace have started the process of identifying targets in the event of Hodgson leaving.
Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche are understood to have admirers in the Palace boardroom.
Howe is available for nothing having left Bournemouth at the end of last season.
Burnley, however, would demand huge compensation for Dyche which would pose a problem for Palace with finances tight.