Southampton and Crystal Palace close in on managerial appointmentsby Jack Kitson / 23 June 2017, 11:10Tweet
Come the weekend we could have all 20 managers in place for the upcoming 2017/18 Premier League season as Southampton and Crystal Palace close in on appointments.
Throughout the last week both top-flight teams have been hotly linked with bosses Mauricio Pellegrino and Frank de Boer, but it now appears they have made an amicable agreement, with Pellegrino darting down to the south coast, and De Boer voyaging over to the capital.
Below we take a look at both of the imminent top-flight appointments.
A week ago few Saints supporters would never have envisioned Pellegrino becoming Claude Puel’s replacement at St Mary’s, however after impressing in the interview process, the Argentine is now the miniscule 1/12 favourite to bag the job, edging out the likes of De Boer and late contender Markus Weinzierl.
For those less familiar with Pellegrino he’s previously played and coached in the Premier League with Liverpool, while he also sported the shirts of Barcelona, Valencia and Alaves during his playing days.
The Argentine began his managerial career with Spanish side Valencia in 2012, but lasted just 21 games, although he could feel reasonably hard done by having led his side to 10 wins. Despite decent showings in the Champions League and Copa del Rey, he was undone by the club’s league form - they were 12th on his departure.
Pellegrino decided to venture back to his homeland with spells at Estudiantes and Independiente, before returning to Spain with newly promoted Alaves in June 2016. It was last season that Pellegrino’s reputation really soared, leading his side to a very impressive 9th place finish in La Liga, and a runners-up medal in the Copa del Rey.
After stepping down from his post after just a single season Pellegrino has been linked with a move to the Premier League, and now bar any late snags, he’ll become the fifth boss to manage the Saints since they returned to the top-flight in 2012.
De Boer Palace Bound
On Thursday social media was awash with speculation that Crystal Palace had offered Frank de Boer the job, with bookmakers reacting by cutting the Dutchman’s odds to just 1/20. An official appointment has not yet followed, but the Eagles are widely expected to announce De Boer as Sam Allardyce’s successor in the next few days.
Southampton bound Pellegrino was also in the frame for the position, but it’s De Boer who is now all set to become the club’s fifth manager in the last four years, and third in the space of six months.
De Boer is determined to bounce back from his painfully short 85-day spell in charge of Inter last season. The 47-year-old previously hoisted four Eredivisie titles with Ajax, and will still feel hard done by Inter, with whom he’ll feel pulled the plug far too early.
According to The Times Palace have offered De Boer a three-year contract worth £2.5 million a year, and if he puts pen to paper then he’ll become the club’s first ever foreign manager.