Sunday 18 February 2018

Wales boss Chris Coleman plays down Crystal Palace links

Chris Coleman says he is focused only on Wales as speculation continues over who will be the next manager at Crystal Palace
Chris Coleman says he is focused only on Wales as speculation continues over who will be the next manager at Crystal Palace

Wales boss Chris Coleman has distanced himself from the Crystal Palace vacancy - as Marco Silva, who looks set to leave Hull, and Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic appear to be on the Premier League club's shortlist to replace Sam Allardyce.

Palace are on the search for an eighth manager in the space of seven years in the wake of Allardyce's shock resignation announcement on Tuesday evening.

As yet there has been no official comment from Selhurst Park as to the next steps of the recruitment process.

Palace are, though, expected to have the new man in place for the trip out to Hong Kong in mid-July for the 2017 Premier League Asia Trophy, the line-up for which was confirmed on Wednesday and will also include Liverpool, West Brom and Leicester.

Silva made an impression during his time with Hull, but could not keep the Tigers up with a 4-0 defeat by the Eagles on May 14 confirming relegation as well as top-flight survival for Allardyce's side.

However, Press Association Sport understands that the Portuguese coach met the club's owners on Wednesday night and told them of his decision to leave.

The 39-year-old has also been attracting interest from home club Porto following the departure of Nuno as well as Watford, now on the hunt for a third boss in as many Premier League campaign after axing Walter Mazzarri.

Palace are also said to be considering Jokanovic, the Serbian who helped take Watford into the top flight at the end of 2014/2015 and just missed out on taking Fulham into the Championship play-offs last season.

Leeds announced they had accepted the resignation of Garry Monk on Wednesday, with the former Swansea boss immediately installed as one of the leading contenders for the Palace vacancy.

Italians Roberto Mancini and Claudio Ranieri are others reported to be under consideration as well as former England boss Roy Hodgson, who said he would be open to offers should he ''like the idea", while Sean Dyche impressed with the job of keeping Burnley up.

However, while Coleman has a strong link with the Eagles from his playing days at Selhurst Park from 1991 to 1995, the 46-year-old stressed his current immediate focus was only on getting Wales back in contention for the 2018 World Cup.

The Dragons' qualification campaign continues against Group D leaders Serbia on June 11.

Coleman joked about having a "good time at the Palace" when the issue of the Eagles' job was raised at a press conference on Thursday to announce his latest squad, with reference to the Welshman's OBE presentation at Buckingham Palace last week.

"All I am thinking about is Serbia. I don't think past that, I can't afford to," said Coleman, who resisted interest from the Premier League after taking Wales into the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

"I can't control what's said about me outside of Wales, I only care about Wales and preparing properly.

"I am looking forward to this game, that's where my mind and my thinking is."

Allardyce, meanwhile, insisted he wanted to take a break from football after helping the Eagles stay up and at the same time rebuilding his reputation following the disappointing premature end to the England job.

The 62-year-old, who only took charge at Selhurst Park on December 23, is said to have been due a £2million bonus for staving off the threat of relegation.

It has been suggested Palace would be owed a similar figure in compensation should Allardyce take on another manager's role within two years.

Eagles winger Andros Townsend has been linked with a summer move back to former club Newcastle following their promotion.

Townsend missed the final match of the campaign at Manchester United and has undergone surgery on his Achilles tendon, with P alace club doctor Zafar Iqbal expecting the player to be available again for pre-season.

"Andros had a minor procedure earlier in the week to remove an irritation to the Achilles tendon. He had been struggling with it in the latter part of the season and it was then decided to address the issue at the end of season to allow him to return and be ready for the start of pre-season," Dr Iqbal said on the club's official website.

Press Association

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