BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Nathaniel Clyne is set to sign a contract extension with Crystal Palace.
Eagles manager Roy Hodgson revealed in his pre-Arsenal press conference that the experienced right-back, who initially arrived on a short-term deal in October, will extend his stay.
Palace have a raft of first-teamers who are in the final six months of their contracts.
Hodgson said: “I think Nathaniel Clyne is just about to sign a deal with us.
“I think that problem, if you like, is not a problem because I’m led to believe we’re very close to Nathaniel signing something.
“There are a lot of other players who are out of contract at the end of the year and there doesn’t appear to be a clear decision made whether or not to offer them a new contract.
“These are discussions going on behind the scenes with some intensity between Doug Freedman, the player and his agent.
“We signed Nathan Ferguson because we already had one right-back at the club and that’s been the case for quite a period of time – it had been an enormous burden on Joel Ward and how well he’s done, in terms of that if he doesn’t play we don’t have the right person who can go in his place.
“Nathan came to us injured and pictured up another bad injury. So it was quite vital for us to get someone who could compete with Joel and play if he wasn’t available.
“Nathaniel has done that with flying colors really. Our only doubt about him was how fit he was going to be. Is he going to be the Nathaniel Clyne that I knew, playing for England and Crystal palace? That’s exactly what he has been.
“He has done exceptionally well and I’m delighted, of course, that the club have been able to see their way to negotiating a new contract with him.”
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