Roy Hodgson has said "the time is right" for him to retire after announcing he will step down as Crystal Palace manager at the end of the season.
Hodgson, who began his senior coaching career in Sweden in 1976 and managed England between 2012 and 2016, will take charge of his last Selhurst Park match against Arsenal on Wednesday before facing one of his former clubs, Liverpool, on Sunday in his final game.
Frank Lampard is understood to be among those in contention to take over from the 73-year-old, who has been in charge of Palace since September 2017 and also managed Blackburn, Fulham and West Bromwich in the Premier League before his appointment by England.
The announcement ends any uncertainty over Hodgson’s future and means fans returning to Selhurst Park will have an opportunity to pay tribute to the Premier League’s oldest-ever manager.
“After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace,” Hodgson said in a statement. “It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.
“I have had so much support from my wife and family throughout my career and I have been contemplating this decision for some time, and now I believe the time is right to consider them and to see what the future holds for me.”
The Palace chairman, Steve Parish, is understood to have sounded out potential candidates in recent weeks, with Lampard interested in returning to management having been sacked by Chelsea in January. Burnley's Sean Dyche also has his admirers in the Palace boardroom and could emerge as the most similar candidate to Hodgson, although it is believed he would cost up to £10m in compensation.
It seems unlikely Palace will risk appointing a manager untested in the Premier League despite interest in Swansea’s Steve Cooper and Valérien Ismaël of Barnsley – whose sides contested the first leg of their Championship play-off on Monday.
Palace have not finished lower than 14th in Hodgson’s four seasons, and victory against Arsenal would mean they could record their highest Premier League points total by beating Liverpool. Parish paid tribute to the impact Hodgson has had on his boyhood club since replacing Frank De Boer with the team bottom after losing their first four matches.
“His record with us simply cannot be overstated – he is the only Palace manager to secure four years in the Premier League and he has helped give us stability in the most turbulent of times,” said Parish. “We will be forever grateful for his immense contribution and I am delighted that we will have the opportunity to show our appreciation at Selhurst Park after the Arsenal match, alongside 6,500 supporters.
“Roy will leave us after our final Premier League match of the season with our enormous thanks for his incredible contribution to our club, and with our very best wishes for the future.” Hodgson’s assistant Ray Lewington will also leave at the end of the season. - Guardian