Alan Pardew believes Crystal Palace’s position means they hold an advantage in the transfer window.
With 30 games played, the London club have picked up 36 points and are all-but safe from relegation. Pardew has revitalised the club since his appointment in January, and he will be looking to have a long-term impact at Selhurst Park.
The former Palace player has already had an input in the Eagles' transfer business, by securing Wilfried Zaha’s permanent return to the club from Manchester United and by recalling Glenn Murray from his loan with Reading when he was set to sign for the Championship club permanently.
With their safety all-but assured - with only a late season collapse likely to take them down - Pardew can start focusing on next season and how he will rebuild the squad he has inherited. They have nothing left to fight for this campaign, with no hopes of European qualification, but also no fear of relegation, and that means they exist along with a few other clubs in a mid-table position which has already ended their season.
While many teams would take this position as an excuse to relax and not focus on the rest of the season, Pardew has told the Telegraph that he can now start planning for his transfer business in the summer, which means he holds an advantage over his top-flight rivals.
"I think we now come into the same category as everybody below the likes of Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool," the 53-year-old said.
"It is a bit like when you get promoted having gone through the play-offs. You are late into the system and it is very difficult to get players. It is a bit like that with the Premier League - if you are fighting and battling until the last game, you are missing out because other teams can start putting packages together and working on players to come in. That is what we will do now.
"We are pretty secure in approaching clubs and players that we are a Premier League side and have the finance to do what we say we are going to do. So it does give us a slight advantage."