Aitor Karanka in pole position for Crystal Palace jobby Jack Kitson / 11 November 2013, 16:07Tweet
Jose Mourinho’s former assistant, Aitor Karanka, is the surprise new short-priced favourite for the Crystal Palace job following the news that the previous frontrunner, Chris Coleman, is set to remain in charge of Wales. According to reports Karanka, who is odds-on with all bookmakers, has flown over to England from Spain to continue talks with the Premier League basement club.
Palace have been managerless since Ian Holloway departed back in October following a disastrous start to the season which saw the club register just three points from their opening eight games. Under caretaker boss Keith Millen they have since picked up one point from three games - a respectable goalless draw at home to Everton on Saturday. The result ended a woeful run of seven consecutive defeats, although they remain rock-bottom of the table and six points adrift of safety.
The Eagles will be looking to name a replacement during the international break ahead of a pivotal sequence of games against the likes of Hull, Norwich, West Ham and Cardiff. They have been linked with a number of candidates to date including Coleman, Tony Pulis and Martin O'Neill. The latter has since taken charge of the Republic of Ireland, whereas Coleman will almost certainly sign a new deal with Wales, while Pulis is reportedly not interested.
This leaves Karanka as the main man in the frame for the vacancy. The 40-year-old most recently worked as Mourinho's No.2 at Real Madrid, while he has previously coached Span’s under-16s for two years. The highly rated Spaniard is now understood to be keen to start his managerial career in the Premier League, however his lack of experience could count against him and his appointed would be considered a risk.