Crystal Palace have been handed a huge blow in their pursuit of a replacement for Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles have reportedly been considering appointing Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael as the 73-year-old’s successor, with his contract at the club continuing to tick down at the end of the season.
However, the Tykes have made their stance over the Frenchman clear, with chief executive Dane Murphy stating that they want to “keep” him in Yorkshire.
Whilst that is understandable considering the fantastic job that Ismael has done so far in his short time at Oakwell, it is a big blow to Palace, who now must rule out one managerial candidate ahead of next season.
Since arriving in Yorkshire, the former LASK manager has overseen 37 matches in all competitions, with the Tykes having won a highly impressive 23 of those.
That 62% win percentage has seen Barnsley leap from 21st in the Championship table last summer, following a miraculous escape from relegation, to fifth now as they challenge for promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
Of course, one loss in their last 15 games in the league has hugely helped their cause going forwards.
Compare this to Hodgson’s Palace and there is a stark difference. The former England boss has only managed to accumulate a 33% win percentage, with the Eagles having won just five out of their last 15 games in the Premier League.
Whilst Hodgson has been doing that in the top flight, there is no reason as to why Valerien could not have brought that winning mentality to Selhurst Park should he have arrived in south London.
That will not happen now, unfortunately, with Barnsley unwilling to let him go in what is a huge blow in Palace’s search for an ideal successor to Hodgson.
AND in more news, the time is now right for Palace to let Mamadou Sakho go…