Alan Pardew has confirmed he is in preliminary discussions over a new contract with Crystal Palace – but says any agreement remains a “long way off”.
Palace manager Pardew still has two-and-a-half years to run on his current Selhurst Park deal, and says the club – thanks to the multi-million pound investment from Americans John Harris and David Blitzer – has bolstered Palace’s top-flight clout.
In admitting talks over a new deal had begun, Pardew believes the contract represents a potential springboard for European qualification.
“There has been some discussion but the bottom line is we’re in a great place,” said Pardew when quizzed over a potential new contract.
“But personally a new deal’s a long way off I think.
“And it’s very difficult not to change the dynamics of a club running very, very well when new owners come in.
“And I think David (Blitzer) and Josh (Harris) are keen for it to progress as it has been progressing.
“(Chairman) Steve Parish has tried to put foundations for the club to go forward.
“We could become a bigger club, because we’re in London.
“That gives us a massive advantage.
“No disrespect to the rest of the country, it just does, location-wise for international players and access to their families.
“So we’ve got an opportunity that we’re going to try to grasp.”
Pardew on Bournemouth clash
Palace can record 12 away wins in the calendar year with victory over Bournemouth at Dean Court on Boxing Day, with Pardew now admitting the club can fight for European football.
“For me sitting here as the manager, nine wins speaks for itself,” said Pardew, of Palace’s Premier League form this season.
“That’s the big target we’ve hit this year.
“There’s only three or four other clubs have done that.
“It’s a great achievement, a great set of players all very, very focused on now trying to do for the second part of the season what we’ve done all calendar year.
“And if we do that then we’re going to find ourselves in Europe.
“Because this club never has reached Europe.
“We did when I was a player here, but unfortunately there was an international ban so we couldn’t play.
“So that would be significant for the club, in this era it will be a fantastic achievement.
“It’s a long, long way to go, but I’m buoyed by the fact that it’s not just the first half of this season. We did it at the back-end of last season too.
“So for a 35-game period we’ve been very strong.”