Crystal Palace are plotting moves for Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram and Chelsea starlet Conor Gallagher as they prepare for a major squad overhaul this summer.
Lundstram, 27, is out of contract at Bramall Lane at the end of this season and will be available as a free agent, with the Blades almost certain to drop into the Championship at the end of the campaign.
Palace are also expected to move for Gallagher, 21, who has impressed on loan at West Brom this season, and will still have four years left on his Chelsea contract.
Gallagher would cost around £9million, but is well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge – though new manager Thomas Tuchel may want to take a closer look this summer before a final decision is made.
Palace though have a major clear-out to undergo first at the end of this season, with 13 players out of contract – as well as manager Roy Hodgson and assistant Ray Lewington.
The number of incomings will be dictated by how many of those players they can move on in the summer – but plans are already being made for replacements.
Former Everton player Lundstram, who joined the Blades from Oxford in 2017, has turned down several offers to stay at Bramall Lane and is now expected to move on – though Palace could face competition from Rangers and Burnley.
Gallagher has had successful loan spells at Charlton and Swansea before his stint at the Hawthorns.
Discussing the future of the Palace squad last week, Hodgson – who could leave Selhurst Park this summer – said when asked if he will oversee the recruitment of new players: “Well that would depend on whether I’m going to be here to take the team, and at the moment that’s another decision which has not been taken.
“You know again, it’s a question I can’t answer until such a time that I know what my plans are going to be and what my future is going to be with regard to next season.
“But the obvious answer to the question is that if I’m going to be involved with the team next season, then I of course I would need to be involved in the recruitment.”
Meanwhile speaking after the 4-1 loss to Tottenham on Sunday, Hodgson said of the return of star winger Wilfried Zaha, who came off the bench against Spurs: “Well I thought first of all, I thought we played very well against three difficult teams – Brighton, Fulham and then Man United – and I think the team has done very well.
“So I don’t think it would have been the moment to necessarily change that with everyone fit and ready and wanting to play, especially with Wilf having been out for such a long time and having done so few training sessions..
“So I suppose the aim always was to ease him back and get him some minutes in the game tonight.
“But I thought the right time to do that was at half-time to give him 45 minutes because he know that we’re going to need him in the 10 games going forward to get the results we want. So the sooner we get him back into action, the better.”