Roy Hodgson admits every Premier League manager is looking for a player like Declan Rice to anchor their team as he prepares his Crystal Palace side to come up against the England midfielder on Monday.

The 24-year-old’s £105million move to Arsenal from West Ham last month made him one of four players in his position to have been bought for a nine-figure fee by European clubs during the last eight months, as the value placed by top sides on central midfielders has rocketed.

Rice is part of an elite group that includes World Cup-winner Enzo Fernandez and his new Chelsea team-mate Moises Caicedo – both signed by the Blues for British record fees – and England’s Jude Bellingham, who joined Real Madrid in July, with each having been signed for fees that could exceed £100m.

Hodgson’s Palace began the Premier League season with a 1-0 win at promoted Sheffield United but face a stern test when last year’s runners-up arrive at Selhurst Park, with Mikel Arteta’s side buoyed by the arrival of Rice to add steel to their midfield ahead of their return to the Champions League.

Experienced manager Hodgson said that, whilst it remains the game’s great goalscorers that command the highest fees, the importance of a deeper-lying central midfielder has been proven by English football’s most successful sides.

“I think it (central midfield) has always been big,” said Hodgson. “I don’t think it’s anything new. You will never be able to align it to centre forward because centre forwards will always be right up there as really big ones.

“It’s still Neymar and (Kylian) Mbappe that go beyond our hundred million pounds here. Harry Kane, yes he cost just over a hundred million (when he signed for Bayern Munich), but only because he was in the last year of his contract. If he’d have had a three-year contract, Tottenham would have been asking for a lot more money. They score the goals. The game is about goals.

“But I think the midfield area is an area where people within football have always understood the importance of it and the importance of getting good players in, none more so than Sir Alex (Ferguson) at Manchester United because he always had really, really top-class players in that centre of midfield, all of whom brought him trophies.

“(Rice) has got strength, he’s got energy, he understands the game very well. He gets from box to box, and when he’s in each of the boxes, he does a really good job. He knows how to defend and he also has an eye for goal, so really he’s the type of player that every person is looking for.”

Hodgson enjoyed the boost of winger Michael Olise turning down the chance to join Chelsea last week after Mauricio Pochettino’s side activated a £35m release clause.

The France Under-21 international, who Palace signed from Reading for a relatively modest £8m two years ago and has since flourished into an accomplished Premier League performer, instead opted to agree a new four-year deal to continue his development in south London.

He will be missing from Hodgson’s team to face Arsenal as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Yet it is Arsenal’s transfer business that occupied Hodgson’s attention ahead of Monday’s game, with Rice set to make his second Premier League start as the Gunners look to go one better and take the crown from champions Manchester City.

“It’s been an interesting development for him,” said the manager. “I’ve followed him a little bit myself through (James) Tomkins (who) told me about him many years ago. He said there’s a very good young player at West Ham, and I’ve seen that as he’s gone along.

“He’s done his apprenticeship really, coming through the ranks. He’s done his years at West Ham, each year getting better, and in the end becomes an international and clubs are (thinking) ‘who can I get who’s the best at his particular job for this role?’

“Declan Rice’s name is always going to be right up there on the top of the list, as was Bellingham of course at Real Madrid.”

Roy Hodgson has praised the work of Crystal Palace sporting director Dougie Freedman in helping assemble the club’s sought-after young stars at Selhurst Park.

The club has seen the value of players bought for relatively modest sums rocket in recent seasons, with winger Michael Olise – an £8million buy from Reading two summers ago – the subject of an unsuccessful £35m bid from Chelsea this week.

Palace’s long stay in the Premier League has largely been built on shrewd work in the transfer market, plucking lesser-known young players from the Championship or overseas and giving them the chance to prove themselves in the top flight.

Eberechi Eze joined from QPR in 2021 and has grown to become a key member of the team’s front line, while defenders Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen and midfielder Cheick Doucoure have also flourished since arriving at Selhurst Park.

Doucoure, who played 34 times in the league in his debut campaign in England last season, has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp looks to rebuild his team’s midfield, and former Chelsea academy player Guehi has become an England international.

Hodgson acknowledged that transfer fees across the board have risen sharply in recent seasons, highlighting Brighton as an example in the week that they received a British record £115m fee from Chelsea for Moises Caicedo.

But he was equally keen to point to the influence of Freedman, who made more than 350 appearances for Palace during two spells as a player, in keeping his squad stocked with bright prospects who are catching the eye of bigger sides.

“You’ve only got to turn to Brighton; Caicedo and(Alexis) Mac Allister,” said Hodgson. “That’s an incredible leap, those players; £4m for Caicedo to £115m. They sold Mac Allister for over £50m.

“The prices these days are getting very, very high. I don’t think we should be surprised anymore by that. We were lucky as Brighton were lucky in identifying a very good young player that didn’t cost enormous sums of money at that time.

“What they saw in him, the potential, developed, and he becomes a player that then gets put into a category where this is the level the player is at. All of our players have done that, it’s not just Michael. It’s Eze without a doubt, it’s Doucoure without a doubt, it’s the two centre-backs (Guehi and Andersen) without a doubt, it’s (defender) Tyrick Mitchell.

“All these players are in a category that they probably weren’t in when the club bought them.

“The recruitment has been good. Dougie Freedman has done very well, I think the money has always been limited. It’s not been a question of just go out, there’s a blank chequebook, find a player you think the club needs. He’s had to do it within budget restrictions which the club has to respect and adhere to.”

Freedman was manager at Palace at the beginning of the season in which they won promotion to the Premier League in 2012/13.

He guided the club into the top six in the Championship in October before leaving to take charge of Bolton.

Ian Holloway took over and guided the team up via the play-offs, but Freedman is credited with laying the foundations, having been appointed in 2011 with the club languishing in the Championship relegation zone.

He was appointed sporting director in 2017 after a brief stint managing Nottingham Forest.

“We’re in a majority of clubs,” said Hodgson. “The minority are the ones who can pluck players at whatever price the club is asking. I think the club has given them a good platform to develop their skills and become the Premier League players that obviously Dougie thought they were going to be when he watched them play.

“When he ’s watching Joachim Andersen at Fulham, who’s come on loan from a German club; when he’s watching Marc Guehi at Swansea; when he’s watching Doucoure play in France; when he’s watching Michael at Reading; when he’s watching Ebs (Eze) at QPR. That’s the work that goes in.

“There’s still a leap of faith needed. Today you’d say Eze was cheap. Well he wasn’t for us when we bought him. When we paid £16m, that wasn’t cheap at all. That was a big transfer.

“But thanks to Doug’s work, it’s paid off. I like to think that the atmosphere, the environment, the way the club is and the way it operates, gives people a nice platform if you like to show their skills and to become better players.

“You can go back further. (Aaron) Wan-Bissaka we sold (to Manchester United) for £50m.”

Roy Hodgson said Crystal Palace can help Michael Olise move to another level after the winger turned down the chance to join Chelsea to sign a new four-year deal at Selhurst Park.

Palace had looked set to lose the France Under-21 international when Mauricio Pochettino’s side activated a £35million release clause in his contract on Tuesday.

But in a surprise turnaround the 21-year-old has now committed his future to the club, spurning Chelsea in favour of continuing his development in south London.

Palace have already lost Wilfried Zaha to Turkish side Galatasaray this summer and Hodgson admitted to having been concerned at the prospect of losing another key member of his attack in so short a space of time.

Olise was persuaded to stay after conversations with owner Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman.

Had he opted to move to Stamford Bridge, he would have become the eighth first-team signing of the current transfer window with the club having paid out more than £300m so far.

“I had been concerned,” said Hodgson. “It’s always concerning when a club of Chelsea’s stature take interest in a player, and people will suggest that a move to them might be the best bet.

“I had always hoped that wouldn’t be the case and that Michael would realise that at such a young age, his future here is very bright, and we can help him move very quickly on to another level.

“I am delighted for the club, and I must congratulate Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman on the fantastic job they have done in persuading him that, even though there was pressure from outside, ‘this is your place and this is where we think you will progress in the right way and develop in the right way’.

“To lose a player like Wilfried Zaha and then to lose Olise, that would have changed my perception as coach.”

Olise appeared in all but one of Palace’s Premier League games last season and played a key role during the period late in the campaign when Zaha was out injured.

He has steadily become a central figure in the club’s first team since signing from Reading in 2021 after starring for the Royals in the Championship.

Hodgson said that he had been in discussion since pre-season with the player about his future, in which he expressed his view that Palace represented the best place for him to continue his development.

“I had a long chat with him when the subject was first broached, but that’s a long time ago, pretty much in the pre-season.

“I had a long chat to him, and I made it clear of course how much I enjoyed working with him and how much potential he has as a player.

“I suggested, of course, that being at Crystal Palace and playing here would be best option, but I also made it clear I wouldn’t put him under unnecessary pressure.

“He was under pressure from all sides. I can only tell you: ‘I’m always here if need to speak to discuss further’.

“We spoke every day, but I shied away from asking ‘What are you going to do?’ and giving further advice. He knew what I was going to say, so we just hoped we would get the answer we wanted.”

What the papers say

Liverpool are ramping up their bid for 23-year-old midfielder Cheick Doucoure after missing out of Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia to Chelsea this summer, the Independent reports. The price to lure the Crystal Palace star to Anfield is reported to be around £60million, but the Eagles could be hesitant to sell Doucoure after already losing a number of players this summer.

The Daily Mail says Liverpool are also interested in Netherlands international midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. The 21-year-old at Bayern Munich is reportedly open to leaving the club due to a lack of playing time.

Newcastle United are set to pay £30million for 18-year-old full-back Lewis Hall after Chelsea put him up for sale, according to the Telegraph.

West Ham are hoping to use some of the money gained from the monster Declan Rice sale to sign a flurry of players. The Guardian says Montpellier striker Elye Wahi, Stuttgart defender Konstantinos Mavropanos and Bayer Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou are all on the club’s watchlist.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Jesse Lingard: West Ham are scoping out the 30-year-old midfielder who is now a free agent after his contract expired with Nottingham Forest, Football Daily said.

Aleksandar Mitrovic: The Guardian says the Fulham and Serbian striker is looking like the next Premier League player to head to the Saudi Pro League.

Midfielder Romeo Lavia will undergo a medical on Wednesday ahead of his move to Chelsea, while Hakim Ziyech is close to exiting Stamford Bridge.

The Blues agreed an initial £53million fee to sign Lavia from Southampton on Tuesday, which could rise to £58m in add-ons, the PA news agency understands.

Lavia is now in London to go through his medical tests but Ziyech will be the latest player to go through the exit door at Chelsea after an agreement in principle was reached with Galatasaray for his transfer.

It has been a whirlwind few days for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, with the British record capture of Moises Caicedo from Brighton completed on Monday.

Caicedo’s transfer could eventually total £115m and a day later the Blues closed in on the signings of Lavia and Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise.

After Lavia made it known to Southampton on Monday that he favoured a move to west London, Chelsea and the recently-relegated Saints reached an agreement for his transfer on Tuesday night.

Lavia will sign for an initial £53m with Southampton able to receive a further £5m in add-ons.

The spending under owner Todd Boehly shows no sign of slowing down though, with Olise’s £35m release clause activated on Tuesday, PA understands.

It allows Chelsea to now negotiate personal terms with the highly-rated Crystal Palace winger.

Olise is currently out injured with a hamstring issue and his current club Palace are reported to be unhappy with Chelsea’s conduct during their pursuit of the France Under-21 international.

PA understands Chelsea are comfortable they have done nothing untoward and Olise is expected to finalise his move this week.

Ziyech should leave after Chelsea and Galatasaray reached an agreement for his transfer on Wednesday, but the Morocco forward still has a medical to complete after moves to Paris St Germain and Al Nassr collapsed earlier this year.

What the papers say

Crystal Palace are reportedly unhappy with Chelsea over “tapping up” concerns during their pursuit of Michael Olise, according to the Daily Mail. Chelsea are looking to sign the 21-year-old attacking midfielder for £35million after activating a release clause but the Mail report that the Eagles are concerned over the way the approach for their player has been handled.

West Ham’s deal to sign former Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has reportedly fallen through after the club became tired of waiting for the defender to agree on the move to the club, the Guardian reports.

The Daily Mail says Liverpool are widening their hunt for a defensive midfielder with the club identifying six players including Joao Palhinha and Cheick Doucoure.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mohammed Salah: Football365 says the Liverpool forward has given permission for a Saudi Pro League team to negotiate with the club.

Lucas Paqueta: A new offer from Manchester City is imminent for the West Ham midfielder, according to Football Insider.

Chelsea have agreed to activate a £35million release clause in Michael Olise’s contract leaving them free to negotiate personal terms with the Crystal Palace winger, the PA news agency understands.

A deal is yet to be struck with the player but it is understood he has made it clear to Palace that he wishes to leave in order to become the latest recruit in Mauricio Pochettino’s Stamford Bridge rebuild.

The 21-year-old, who can play either as an attacking midfielder or out wide, is currently out with a hamstring injury and is unlikely to be fit before September.

Should he agree terms as expected, he will join seven other first-team recruits brought in during the transfer window so far, taking the club’s total summer spend to over £320m once performance-related add-ons are taken into account.

Southampton’s Romeo Lavia is also understood to have told his club he wishes to join Chelsea with that deal expected to go through in the coming days once a fee – likely to be in excess of £50m – has been agreed.

Chelsea, who broke the British transfer record for the second time in eight months with the signing of Brighton’s Moises Caicedo for a possible £115m on Monday, will have had a net spend of £175m once the Olise deal is finalised, with a clutch of players having been offloaded for significant fees earlier in the summer.

Olise has appeared 63 times in the Premier League for Palace since signing from Reading in 2021 and played an influential role last season in the absence of Wilfried Zaha, who spent part of the campaign injured.

Chelsea are understood still to be in the market for a goalkeeper to play back-up to Robert Sanchez after Kepa Arrizabalaga joined Real Madrid on a season-long loan on Monday.

Newcastle new boy Sandro Tonali announced himself in the Premier League with a stunning debut in Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Aston Villa.

However, the £52million former AC Milan midfielder is not the first Italian to make an early impact, for better or for worse, in England’s top flight.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how he and some of his predecessors fared in their first appearances.

Sandro Tonali

Newcastle invested heavily in 23-year-old Italy international Tonali this summer and he wasted little time in starting to pay off his fee. He scored six minutes into his competitive debut at St James’ Park and went on to produce a fine individual display to inspire the Magpies to a victory which suggested they picked up where they left off at the end of the previous campaign.

Fabrizio Ravanelli

Former Juventus frontman Ravanelli made perhaps the most eye-catching debut of all the Premier League’s Italian stars after swapping Turin for Middlesbrough in a £7million move. The man known as “The White Feather” plundered a hat-trick in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Liverpool at the Riverside Stadium on the opening day of the 1996-97 season, in the process unveiling his trademark shirt-over-head celebration to a new audience.

Attilio Lombardo

Promoted Crystal Palace raised eyebrows with the £1.6million swoop for Lombardo, who had played a key role in Juventus’ Serie A title win the previous season, during the summer of 1997. Dubbed “The Bald Eagle” by Palace supporters, he made his Premier League bow on August 9 in a 2-1 victory at Everton in which he scored the opening goal and swiftly endeared himself to the Eagles faithful with an inspirational display.

Massimo Taibi

Goalkeeper Taibi’s arrival at Manchester United came amid an injury crisis following the departure of treble-winning Peter Schmeichel with Mark Bosnich and Raimond Van Der Gouw both unavailable. The £4.5m signing from Venezia endured mixed fortunes on his debut at Liverpool in September 1999, his error allowing Sami Hyypia to drag the home side back into the game before he made late saves to deny Vladimir Smicer and Robbie Fowler and secure a 3-2 victory in which Jamie Carragher scored two own goals.

Bernardo Corradi

Former Inter Milan, Lazio and Valencia striker Corradi arrived at Manchester City during the summer of 2006, but his career in England got off to a bad start and went downhill from there. He made his debut in a 3-0 defeat at Chelsea in which he was sent off for two bookable offences – and took 13 games to score the first of just three goals for the club before eventually being released with a year of his contract remaining.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson was surprised at himself after getting involved in a touchline spat with Sheffield United’s Max Lowe as his side enjoyed a winning start to the Premier League season.

Hodgson clashed with the Blades defender, who appeared to shove the 76-year-old in the midriff, midway through the second half after he stopped the ball in the dugout.

His side were winning 1-0 at the time through Odsonne Eduoard’s 50th-minute goal and that is how it ended at Bramall Lane as Palace started the campaign strongly.

“It took me a bit by surprise, I suppose I don’t take many challenges these days at my age, so it took me by surprise,” Hodgson said of the incident.

“It was nothing at all and immediately afterwards Max Lowe looked over and we smiled at each other.

“He obviously realised he hadn’t done a lot to hurt me and I was probably a bit surprised I have got the energy to react in the way I did.”

Hodgson also distanced himself from wantaway goalkeeper Vicente Guaita’s pre-match tweet, which appeared to question his exclusion from the matchday squad.

The Palace boss said earlier this week that the Spaniard had refused to play in pre-season, but he tweeted: “Where is my name? So how can I play for Palace?”

Hodgson said: “I didn’t know that happened, I don’t really think about it at all.

“I’m more than happy we got through today’s game, our goalkeeper was largely untroubled throughout the game, everything he had to do he did well.. What you’re talking about will be something that he and the club will need to sort out, for me it doesn’t affect me whatsoever.”

Defeat for the Blades worsens the gloom around the club following last season’s promotion.

They have sold star men Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge and have yet to replace them, with boss Paul Heckingbottom admitting that the loss exposed how far away they are from competing at this level.

But he expects that to improve between now and the end of the transfer window.

“It’s obvious. That’s not the story,” he said when asked whether this loss highlighted the gap. “The story is that’s where we are at the minute, but we’re only going to improve. We’ve sold players so we have got the money to spend to bring players in.

“I can’t be critical, I think we needed the first goal if I am honest. We compromised the way we wanted to play with the difference in the team.

“But I felt by being disruptive and aggressive, we had an impact on the game, especially in the second half.

“To concede the first goal so early in the second half made it difficult. These are a well established team, they have experience, they have some real quality. I have not come away from there scared and the players shouldn’t either.”

Odsonne Edouard’s second-half goal earned Crystal Palace a 1-0 win against Sheffield United to worsen the gloom at Bramall Lane.

Edouard struck from close range four minutes after the restart to give the Eagles a deserved three points in the Premier League opener.

It was thoroughly convincing for Roy Hodgson’s men as they had two further goals disallowed, while Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham made a number of saves to keep his side in it.

Indeed, Hodgson’s biggest problem was a tweet from wantaway goalkeeper Vicente Guaita before the game, seemingly questioning why he was not in the team.

United’s return to the top flight after two seasons away ended with a whimpering defeat to compound a negative few weeks which saw the sale of Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge.

Boss Paul Heckingbottom admitted before the match that United are “nowhere near” where they need to be and that showed as they lacked any real goal threat throughout the match.

The signing of Gustavo Hamer from Coventry overnight had boosted spirits and he was paraded on the pitch before kick-off.

The atmosphere helped the Blades make a strong start, with Will Osula going close inside the opening 10 minutes with an effort that was deflected just wide.

But Palace began to take control of the game, with Eberechi Eze running things with his impressive ball-carrying skills.

And he twice saw goalbound efforts blocked, first from Jack Robinson and then from John Egan.

The visitors thought they had taken the lead midway through the first half when Jordan Ayew headed home after Joachim Andersen’s shot had been fumbled by Foderingham, but it was ruled out for offside.

It was little surprise when they did go in front just after the restart.

Ayew found a good position on the right hand side and sent in a wicked low cross which was begging to be converted and Edouard duly obliged, stabbing in from close range.

It could have been two 10 minutes later as Edouard found space at the far post from Eze’s free-kick but his header was straight at Foderingham.

The former Celtic striker also had a goal ruled out for offside, while Ayew tested Foderingham’s handling with a fierce shot that was palmed away.

Palace kept knocking on the door for a second and Foderingham got down brilliantly to keep out Andersen’s header.

The Blades had nothing in the way of a response, other than plenty of effort, as Palace saw it out with ease.

Roy Hodgson lamented the loss of an “iconic figure” at Crystal Palace after Wilfried Zaha left the club to join Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Zaha was a free agent after the expiry of his Crystal Palace contract and had revealed he was in Istanbul for talks, having reportedly turned down a £200,000-a-week offer to remain at Selhurst Park.

Earlier this week, he took to Instagram to confirmed his exit from Palace, the club he joined when he was 12 and scored 90 goals in 458 appearances, describing their shirt as his “second skin”.

After Galatasaray announced Zaha had signed a three-year deal worth an annual £3.75million, Hodgson expressed his disappointment at the forward’s exit.

“I was really sad to hear that Wilf has decided to leave and start a new chapter in his footballing life,” said Hodgson, who earlier this month confirmed he would manage Palace for the 2023-24 season.

“I was always hoping that he would commit his future to the club and I would have the benefit of working with him again this season.

“I would like to thank him personally for everything he did during my time as manager.

“The club is losing an iconic figure and, although we regret that it has not been possible to persuade Wilfried to stay longer, we can only wish the very best of luck to him and his family in their new venture.”

Zaha left Palace for Manchester United in 2013 but had two loan spells back in south London before returning on a permanent basis in 2015.

The Ivory Coast international, who made two appearances for England before switching his allegiance, had also been linked with Lazio, Fenerbahce and Al-Nassr this summer.


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A post shared by Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha)


Palace chairman Steve Parish added on the club’s website: “Wilfried Zaha leaves the club having been our best and most influential player.

“After long discussions it became clear he wanted a different challenge, to experience something new and somewhere different before the end of his career, and I think that’s something we can all understand.

“We would not be the club we are today without Wilfried. We are entering our 11th consecutive season in the top flight, and he has spearheaded the vast majority of those campaigns.

“A phenomenal player, who gave us incredible moments on the pitch and worked hard in the community helping inspire people off it, he will be treasured in all of our memories.”

Galatasaray are in talks to sign Wilfried Zaha.

The forward is available on a free transfer after his contract at Crystal Palace ended last month.

The Turkish club confirmed on Twitter: “Formal negotiations have been initiated with professional footballer Dazet Wilfried Armel Zaha regarding the transfer of the footballer to our club.”

The Ivory Coast international has been linked with a host of clubs, while Palace had reportedly offered him a huge deal to stay at Selhurst Park.

Zaha, who rejoined Palace after a brief spell at Manchester United in 2015, played 458 times for the Eagles and scored 89 goals.

Roy Hodgson is to remain as Crystal Palace manager for the new season at the age of 76.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the five men to manage in the Premier League after turning 70.

Roy Hodgson

76 years, three days (on the date of Palace’s first game of the new season)

Hodgson’s extended stay means he will take charge of the clash with Sheffield United three days after his 76th birthday. Remarkably he has had three separate spells in the top flight since turning 70, keeping Palace safe from relegation in 2020-21 and again last season, but failing to achieve the same feat with Watford in between times.

His 47-year managerial career has taken in a total of 17 clubs in six countries, including four in Sweden, as well as the national teams of England, Switzerland, Finland and the United Arab Emirates.

Sir Bobby Robson

71 years, 192 days

Robson was 66 when he was appointed manager of his beloved Newcastle in 1999 and spent almost five years in the role, guiding the Magpies to back-to-back Champions League qualifications and a UEFA Cup semi-final.

His managerial career started over 30 years earlier with Fulham, enjoying long spells with Ipswich and England as well as managing overseas with PSV Eindhoven twice, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona.

Sir Alex Ferguson

71 years, 139 days

The great Manchester United manager stepped down in 2013 after the last of his record 13 Premier League titles, and his 1,500th game in charge.

His tenure began in 1986, pre-dating the Premier League era by six years, and followed three Scottish titles and a European Cup Winners’ Cup with Aberdeen and almost a year in charge of Scotland. Old Trafford’s north stand was named the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in 2011.

Neil Warnock

70 years, 162 days

Still managing in the Championship with Huddersfield, Warnock joined the select group of septuagenarian Premier League bosses after taking Cardiff up in 2018 – the eighth promotion of a managerial career that now stretches to 37 years.

He also managed his boyhood club Sheffield United, QPR and Palace in the Premier League and 14 different clubs in all, with his 1,618 games and counting in English professional football breaking the record previously held by ex-Crewe manager Dario Gradi.

Claudio Ranieri

70 years, 93 days

Ranieri memorably took Leicester from relegation favourites, having narrowly survived under predecessor Nigel Pearson, to the 2015-16 league title.

He was sacked the following season and unsuccessful spells at Fulham and Watford followed, with both teams relegated and Ranieri lasting less than four months in each stop. His 14 games in charge of the Hornets saw him past his 70th birthday – before he was replaced by a then 74-year-old Hodgson in January 2022.

Roy Hodgson has targeted a top-half Premier League finish after being appointed Crystal Palace manager for the 2023-24 season.

Hodgson, who will celebrate his 76th birthday on August 9, returned to Selhurst Park in March following the departure of Patrick Vieira.

Palace were involved in a relegation battle at the time, but the former England manager guided the Eagles to an 11th place finish.

“I am immensely pleased and proud to be extending my time at Crystal Palace, and I would like to thank the chairman and sporting director for their continued faith in me,” Hodgson told the official club website.

“I know what a fantastic squad we have here. It’s a great blend of youth and potential, alongside experienced players with Premier League and international pedigree.

“I have spoken with the chairman at length and we agreed that we must be ambitious in getting the most out of such talent.

“As such, we have set ourselves the target of a top-half finish, which we believe is eminently achievable with such a fabulous group of players and the most magnificent supporters who get behind the team, week in, week out.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “Roy’s record as manager speaks for itself.

“His return earlier this year along with Ray Lewington and assisted ably by Paddy McCarthy produced a fantastic return both in results and producing some stylish performances, helping us climb the table and get international recognition for our players.

“Appointing Roy for another season will enable him and the squad to hit the ground running for a full pre-season and continue the magnificent momentum that has built up since his return.”

Croydon-born Hodgson took charge of his boyhood club between 2017 and 2021 and has overseen 172 Palace games from the dugout, more than at any other club.

As well as being England boss between 2012 and 2016, Hodgson has managed Switzerland and Finland. He also counts Fulham, Liverpool and Inter Milan among the clubs he has been in charge of during his 47-year managerial career.

What the papers say

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha could move to French giants Paris St Germain on a free transfer this summer, the Sun reports. The 30-year-old scored seven goals in 27 games for Crystal Palace in all competitions last season and is reportedly attracting interest from the Ligue 1 champions.

After securing the signature of Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool are looking to add more strength to their midfield with the club linked with Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse, the Mirror said. The 28-year-old is in high-demand across the Premier League after Southampton’s relegation to the Championship.

Chelsea are weighing up a deal with Champions League runners up Inter Milan, according to the Sun. The Blues are reportedly offering the Italian club Romelu Lukaku, who is currently there on loan, and Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly as they look to sign Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

James Maddison: Newcastle United are said to be narrowly in front of Tottenham in the battle to secure the 26-year-old Leicester midfielder, valued at £40million, Sky Sports report.

David Raya: Brentford’s Spanish goalkeeper is weighing up offers from Tottenham and Manchester United, with Spurs reportedly close to agreeing personal terms with the 27-year-old, according to

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