Crystal Palace have walked away from their pursuit of former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo as they search for Roy Hodgson’s successor.
What’s the story?
According to the Daily Mail, the Eagles terminated talks with the 47-year-old amid concerns over his demands.
The report claims that Espirito Santo has made a string of requests that the club’s hierarchy were not prepared to meet and have decided not to follow through with their interest as a result, despite being very close to appointing him as their next boss.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche and Swansea City’s Steve Cooper are believed to be in the running to fill the vacancy at Selhurst Park, with chairman Steve Parish wanting a new appointment to be made urgently.
Fans will be gutted
Sky Sports News recently reported that Palace were hoping to conclude a deal bringing the Portuguese tactician to south London as soon as possible after they held three days’ worth of talks with the retired goalkeeper.
However, the fact that Wolves ended last season only one point and one place above the capital club in the Premier League table is believed to be the main contributing factor behind why Palace have refused to meet a set of new stipulations made by Espirito Santo.
The ex-Valencia and Porto manager saw his stock rise considerably during an impressive four-year stay with Wolves, guiding the Midlands outfit back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
It was in the top-flight where he really shone, though, recording consecutive seventh-place finishes, a run to the FA Cup semi-finals, and a run to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Therefore, this latest revelation will surely leave the Palace supporters absolutely gutted.
The fans will be under no illusion at just how difficult the task awaiting Hodgson’s replacement is. Many first-team players are set to become free agents at the end of the month, and the capital club currently have the oldest squad in the division.
With talisman Wilfried Zaha expressing his desire to depart his boyhood club and injuries to promising youngsters Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson adding to Palace’s problems, it’s going to be a turbulent few months ahead.
Appointing Espirito Santo, then, may have felt like a significant coup for Palace. Attracting a proven Premier League manager to Selhurst Park with experience of overseeing a squad overhaul would have been an ideal scenario, but he appears to have slipped through their fingers.
With decisions to be made about so many pending free agents, Palace needed to have a manager in place ASAP, this latest setback could prove to be very costly. Eagles fans will have every right to feel gutted about how this whole situation has panned out.