Sports

New twist in Crystal Palace manager saga as Swansea City boss Steve Cooper becomes favourite again

Swansea City manager Steve Cooper has re-emerged as a frontrunner for the Crystal Palace job after talks with Nuno Espirito Santo reportedly came to an abrupt end.

It was thought that the former Wolves manager was going to be installed as the Eagles’ new boss, with just the final bits of detail set to be ironed out.

However, MailOnline report that Palace have ended their quest to sign Santo owing to the manager’s lengthy list of demands.

Palace had held talks with Santo over the last week and a half and had informed him they want him to be the new manager, hopeful of getting a concrete answer within the next 48 hours.

But after further talks on Tuesday night, Palace, who were also wary of Everton firming up their interest in the manager, have made the decision not to land the Portuguese and are now exploring other avenues.

It is thought that Cooper, as well as Burnley boss Sean Dyche, are now the two main contenders to take over at Selhurst Park.

Cooper’s stock has never been higher after architecting a miraculous run to the play-offs in 2020 before backing that feat up once again this season, making it all the way to Wembley before a crushing defeat by Brentford in the final.

Cooper took over from Graham Potter back in 2019 after he made the step up to the Premier League with Brighton following a successful stint at the Liberty Stadium.

Potter has continued to gain recognition for the work he has done with the Seagulls and has even been linked with the vacant Tottenham job, seemingly following the managerial career trajectories Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers, both of whom have gone on to scale great heights after being snatched away from the Swans.

The bookmakers now have Cooper installed as the favourite to take over at Palace this summer, though, with odds as short as 15/8 on SkyBet, followed by Eddie Howe at 3/1, Sean Dyche at 4/1 and Barnsley boss Valerian Ismael at 9/1.

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Recently speaking to Swansea’s official club website, Cooper insisted he was ready to go again next season after suffering a bitter defeat in the play-off final.

“After the final I was even more proud of the players than I was before,” he said. “They were 2-0 down on a big stage and they never gave up.

“I have said it all along this season, with the squad we have had and in this season of all seasons the players deserve that credit. They certainly get it from me.

“When you lose a final, it is hard to feel like you have had a really good season. We have had a really good season, but we will have to come again.”

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