ROY HODGSON is ready to make a shock return to Crystal Palace to replace axed Patrick Vieira.
The veteran former Eagles boss, who was replaced by Vieira at Selhurst Park in 2021 after four years in charge, is willing to return until the end of the season to keep Palace in the Prem.
Eagles chairman Steve Parish made the call to sack Vieira in a 7am call on Friday morning, with the club three points above the relegation zone and without a win in 2023.
Hodgson, 75, came to the rescue when he was first appointed in South London following Frank de Boer's disastrous 77-day spell as Eagles boss and fought off relegation on a shoe-string budget across his four years.
The former England manager had insisted that last year's brief stint at Watford, which ended in relegation from the Premier League, would be his last gig as a manager.
But talks with Palace chiefs this weekend have progressed well and he is ready to step back in once again.
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Under-21s manager Paddy McCarthy, a former Palace captain, will take charge of the side at Arsenal on Sunday and is highly regarded at the club.
The 39-year-old has turned down a number of job opportunities in the last 18 months on the promise of progress at Palace and could well be part of Hodgson's first-team staff should the ex-Liverpool manager make a comeback.
A move to appoint Hodgson once again, even only until the end of the season, would be a huge departure from Parish's plan to move forward as a club under a more progressive manager following four years of a pragmatic approach.
Vieira made a flying start to life as a Premier League boss, introducing a more free-flowing style and leading them to an FA Cup semi-final last season.
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But the attractive football has disappeared since the return from the World Cup break, leaving Palace in a relegation battle.
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are among the other candidates who could take the hot seat at Palace.
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