Sean Dyche the leading candidate to take over at Crystal Palace

31 March 2021 06:45

Exclusive – Burnley manager Sean Dyche is the leading candidate to become Crystal Palace's new manager if Roy Hodgson does not stay on this summer.

Hodgson, who will turn 74 the week before the 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off in August, is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and has publicly admitted in recent weeks that his future at Selhurst Park is ‘undecided’.

Hodgson is out of contract at Selhurst Park in three months | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Palace chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman have been in long-term discussions about the future direction of the club, and 90min understands that talks with Hodgson are ongoing. The Eagles are open to the former England boss staying on, but it is far from certain that he will - and the names of several possible replacements have been put to Parish.

Burnley manager Dyche is the top candidate under consideration, having previously been of interest to Palace last summer before Hodgson signed a one-year contract extension.

Dyche has long been admired by Parish and a number of clubs are impressed by his record at Turf Moor. He has twice got Burnley promoted to the Premier League, kept them in the top flight since 2016 and even qualified for Europe on a shoestring transfer budget.

However, Dyche is not the only name in contention. Former Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard would be interested in exploring a proposal from Palace, should one be put forward to him.

Sean Dyche is the top candidate Palace are considering | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Lampard has been out of work since being sacked by Chelsea in late January and recently became a father for the fourth time, but the opportunity to return to football at a club renowned for their progressive hierarchy and setup - as well as not needing to uproot his family from London - is likely to appeal.

Palace could also look to top-rated Championship managers to replace Hodgson. Swansea boss Steve Cooper, who has guided the Welsh club into promotion contention since taking over in 2019, is on the Selhurst Park radar, as is Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael.

Barnsley only just avoided relegation to League One last season and Ismael was appointed in October when the Tykes were still win-less in the league this season, yet has propelled the team into the Championship playoff places. This is a club that hasn’t even finished in the top half of the Championship table since 2000, never mind challenged for promotion.

Frank Lampard would be interested if Palace made him an offer | TIM KEETON/Getty Images

Ismael also already knows Palace, having signed for a club record £2.75m in January 1998. The Frenchman’s stay in south London was only brief because of relegation but he later went on to win trophies with Lens, Strasbourg, Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich.

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Source: 90min