Roy Hodgson has admitted that the club are far from certain of convincing both Joel Ward and Yohan Cabaye to extend their stay in SE25, ahead of their contracts expiring this summer.
Whilst those behind the scenes at Selhurst Park are hugely keen to tie the pair down to new deals, our season-long battle against relegation has delayed any realistic talks over fresh terms until now, leaving both men free to discuss potential moves elsewhere.
When he first arrived from PSG back in 2015, Cabaye agreed to a three-year deal but now, having reached the end of that stint, rumours of a return to France refuse to go away. Whilst some have wondered whether a move back to Lille may be on the cards, numerous media outlets have suggested that Marseille represent the most feasible switch for the 32-year-old.
In Ward’s case, his six-year stay in south London appears to have led to itchy feet, prompting the now 28-year-old to wonder whether or not the grass is greener elsewhere. Whilst the former Portsmouth man is still looked upon by Roy Hodgson as a key member of the first-team, the emergence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka since Christmas will no doubt be playing on Joel’s mind, as he gears up to sign what is likely to be the last “big” contract of his career.
With the likes of Julian Speroni, Damien Delaney, Lee Chung-Yong, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah all set to see their contracts expire alongside the aforementioned pair, we can expect Roy, Dougie Freedman and Steve Parish to have another extremely busy summer.
Of course, should both Ward and Cabaye depart this summer, the club will look to replace them with fresh faces (both Ryan Fredericks and Leander Deckondonker have been linked of late) but going into the 2018/19 campaign, the manager’s main concern will be stabalising our form, in the hope of stopping issues such as this from occurring again next summer.