PHOTO: Alan Pardew in the stands watching Crystal Palace ahead of appointment

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew has been spotted watching Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace today, ahead of his appointment as Palace manager.

It's been one of the strangest stories of the season, but Alan Pardew's appointment as Crystal Palace manager is drawing ever closer.

Pardew, 53, is an ex-Palace player, and looks set for an emotional return to his former club after the Eagles agreed a compensation fee with Newcastle United.

The former West Ham boss was far from popular on Tyneside, with fans staging a number of protests against his continued reign in the Newcastle dugout.

Yet Pardew is now leaving of his own will, departing for a club lower in the Premier League table. It's fairly bizarre, but Palace get a manager they can rally behind and Newcastle fans can look forward to a Pardew-less team.

Today, Palace take on Aston Villa at Villa Park, and whilst Pardew had reportedly hoped to lead his new side out, he is in attendance today.

Photos have been taken of Pardew inside Villa Park, sat alongside Palace coach Kevin Blackwell and chairman Steve Parish.

An announcement could be just a matter of hours away, and the attention will turn to how Pardew can lead Palace away from the relegation mire.

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