Roy Hodgson is set for key talks with the Crystal Palace hierarchy as the club plan their long-term future.
The Eagles have preserved top-flight status once again under Hodgson as they prepare for the visit of Tottenham on Sunday, their final game of the season.
Palace are on a dismal run of seven-straight defeats, leading to concerns about the club’s direction, particularly the role of their veteran manager.
Hodgson is expected to hold an end-of-season debrief with chairman Steve Parish to discuss the future – in particular player recruitment plans.
Hodgson will be 73 when next season starts. That, coupled with the manager having just 10 months to run on his current contact, has led Palace to start looking at the longer-term.
The club’s network of scouts have focused on younger targets ahead of the summer transfer window, which opens on Monday.
Five out of the last six permanent first-team Palace signings have been players aged 28 or over, with Hodgson understood to be keen on adding more experience ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.
But they have already signed 19-year-old full back Nathan Ferguson from West Bromwich Albion for next season, while Sportsmail understands they have an interest in 22-year-old Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard, who could be available for £25million.
Talks will establish whether the board and Hodgson can agree on the plan to sign younger players. A number of younger targets are uncertain about signing long-term deals at Palace because they fear the manager’s tenure – given his age and contract status – is drawing to a close.
Palace want to be respectful to Hodgson, who has helped consolidate the club’s top-flight position since arriving in 2017.
There is reluctance to push Hodgson out of the door, which essentially leaves the ball in the former England manager’s court if there is to be a parting of ways before the end of his deal.
A scenario in which the club stage-manage his exit in 2021 could suit all parties.
But with Hodgson’s contract expiring and his illustrious management career drawing to a close, the powers-that-be at Selhurst Park are planning for the future.