Silva emerges clear favourite for Crystal Palace job

Marco Silva has emerged as the clear favourite to become the new manager of Crystal Palace, who accepted Sam Allardyce’s resignation earlier this week.

Allardyce kept the Eagles in the Premier League just five months after succeeding Alan Pardew in the dugout, so it was something of a surprise when he announced he had handed in his resignation on Monday. The 62-year-old, who left his role as England coach by mutual consent in September after just one game, now plans to spend time with his family.

“I have no ambitions to take another job,” Allardyce said in a statement.”I want to be able to savour life while I am still relatively young, and when I am still relatively healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, like travel, spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. This is the right time for me.”

The hunt for a new manager is now underway for Palace, who are widely expected to turn to Portuguese coach Silva. Despite failing to keep Hull City in the Premier League after taking the job in January, the 39-year-old still exceeded expectations and made a huge impression at the KC Stadium, and in doing so he has become one of the hottest properties in the country.

It is thought that Silva would prefer to stay in England, despite reported interest from a number of European clubs including in his homeland where Porto are said to be interested. Having invoked a clause in his contract allowing him to leave Hull, the former Olympiakos boss is a free agent meaning Palace would not have to pay any compensation to install him.

The Croydon Advertiser claim Palace are prepared to offer Silva a two-year contract to succeed Allardyce. On the subject of contracts, the Eagles have this week tied Wilfried Zaha to a five-year deal. The former Manchester United winger has been hotly linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks, but such a transfer now seems unlikely this summer.

“Palace is in my heart and I don’t think the story is over,” the 24-year-old told the official club website. “I think I still have more to give this club. The supporters have been amazing and I want us to do more than just stay in the league next year. I would like to thank the chairman for being a big part of my journey and his fellow owners for backing me and rewarding my progression. Let’s do this!”

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