The Athletic’s Crystal Palace reporter Matt Woosnam has told Football FanCast that Patrick Vieira was not the club’s first choice to become their new manager and believes he has accepted that.
The Eagles have appointed the former Arsenal midfielder as their new manager after the departure of Roy Hodgson from his role at Selhurst Park.
Palace endured a long and drawn-out hunt for their new boss, attempting to appoint various managers before eventually settling on bringing in the Frenchman, who has managed New York City FC and Nice prior to his appointment in south London.
There were talks with Nuno Espirito Santo, who has ended up becoming the new Tottenham Hotspur manager after leaving Wolves, while a deal to appoint Lucien Favre, the former Borussia Dortmund boss, also fell apart at the eleventh hour.
Since Vieira’s appointment, Palace have been aggressive in the transfer market, bringing in Marc Guehi from Chelsea and Michael Olise from Reading, while they are also said to be in talks to sign Joachim Andersen from Lyon after his loan spell at Fulham.
And Woosnam believes that Vieira would admit that he was not at the top of the Eagles’ list.
He told FFC: “It wasn’t straightforward, I don’t think it ever is unfortunately. It was a difficult process in the end, obviously initially with Nuno Espirito Santo, where everything seemed to be quite close and then fell down quite late in the process which put Palace back.
“They identified their preferential targets quite quickly after that but the process takes time, but unfortunately it fell down quite late with Lucien Favre, so Vieira was always under consideration but he was never their first choice.
“He would admit that, and he would concede and understand that and appreciate that.”