Journalist Alex Crook has claimed that Swansea City manager Steve Cooper is firmly in the running to take over as Crystal Palace's next manager.
What's the latest news on Crystal Palace's manager search?
Veteran coach Roy Hodgson opted to walk away from Selhurst Park last month, leaving the club looking for his replacement heading into the summer break.
However, Crook does not expect any of those managers to get the job, and has instead revealed that the information that he has received appears to be putting Cooper at the front of the queue to succeed Hodgson.
What did Crook say about Cooper?
Speaking on talkSPORT on Monday, Crook said: “Steve Cooper – of course, currently a manager in the Championship at Swansea City – he’s a name that I’ve been given by more than one source now as a possible successor at Crystal Palace to Roy Hodgson.
“Swansea will want compensation, but I’m told privately Cooper feels that he’s taken Swansea as far as he can and would relish that challenge.
“We know that Palace have been in talks with Nuno Espirito Santo, interest from Everton maybe is clouding the issue there. Eddie Howe has been mentioned, I’m told that he isn’t interested in Selhurst Park and that Sean Dyche is likely, at this stage, to stay at Burnley.
“So, possibly, all roads for Crystal Palace now lead to Steve Cooper.”
How has Cooper done at Swansea?
Cooper joined Swansea in July 2019, with the Welsh side having finished the 2018/19 season in 10th place in the Championship.
In his first season at the helm, the Swans made the play-offs, only to be knocked out by Brentford in the semi-finals. This year, they went one better by making the final, but they fell short of gaining promotion when they were beaten by Brentford once more in the showpiece event at Wembley.
It is clear to see that Swansea have made progress in the two years under Cooper, but they have not quite managed to get over the line, and as Crook alluded to, Cooper may now be having doubts that he can take the team any further in 2021/22, so he may fancy a fresh challenge.
Could Cooper's track record with youth make him the perfect fit for Palace?
The club have 12 senior players out of contract at the end of the month, and it seems that this could be a great opportunity to put more of a focus on youth moving forwards. This is where Cooper could come into play.
Back in 2017, Cooper led England Under-17s to a World Cup victory, coaching a squad which contained the likes of Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho, two players who could be set to shine at this summer's Euros.
He has continued to bring through young players at Swansea as well, with Marc Guehi flourishing in the Championship this term, helping ensure that the side had the third-best defensive record in the league.
Cooper's track record with youth is there for all to see, and if Palace do indeed want to place their trust in youngsters more next year, it seems that he would be the perfect coach to oversee those young talents making a positive impact in the first-team.News Now - Sport News