Swansea City boss Steve Cooper and Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael are two of the “three real contenders” for the vacant Crystal Palace job, according to journalist Dean Jones.
Roy Hodgson stepped down at Selhurst Park at the end of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign and it seems Palace are looking to the Championship as they search for his replacement.
Speaking on Touchline Talk, Jones revealed that Swansea’s Cooper and Barnsley’s Ismael were two of the “three real contenders” – alongside Burnley boss Sean Dyche.
It is understood that Palace’s owners are very keen on Cooper, who has taken the Swans to the play-offs in back-to-back seasons and can lead them back to the Premier League by beating Brentford at Wembley this weekend.
Additionally, Jones has indicated that the job Ismael has done at Oakwell since taking charge of the Tykes back in October has impressed quite a few people at the club.
A former Palace player, the Barnley boss has surprised many this season by leading the Yorkshire club to the play-offs but saw his side knocked out by the Swans in their two-legged semi-final.
Frank Lampard and Eddie Howe have both been linked in the past but it is believed that they’re no longer in the running.
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While the prospect of hiring from the EFL may concern some Palace fans, there is a huge amount to like about both Cooper and Ismael.
Both have helped young players develop this season and had success with squads that are not as strong as others in the Championship – buoyed by impressive loan signings.
You feel the Swans’ Welsh coach is unlikely to leave if they secure promotion but Ismael’s Palace links mean that Tykes fans should be a little worried.
Both are something of risk as Cooper’s two years in the Swansea job are his first in senior management, while the Frenchman has spent less than a season managing in English football.