The drawn out race to become Crystal Palace’s new manager has taken another twist, as Middlesbrough’s move to hijack Aitor Karanka from replacing Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park, has led to two brand new market leaders for the vacant post.
Ousted from his role as first team coach at Manchester United this summer when David Moyes took over, Rene Meulensteen has emerged as the surprise favourite to take the Palace job at odds of 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
Dutchman Meulensteen had been at Old Trafford since 2007 and alongside Sir Alex Ferguson and Mike Phelan (40/1) helped the Red Devils to win many trophies, including three Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Meulensteen had actually accepted the role as manager of Anzhi Makhachkala in the wake of Guus Hiddink’s departure in September, until their billionaire owner had a sudden change of heart after just two weeks and forced him and many of the club’s high-profile players to leave as well.
However, it appears that his availability, reputation as a coach and experience of English football, have suddenly thrust Meulensteen to the front of the queue to replace Holloway.
Other early frontrunners Chris Coleman and Tony Pulis are now deemed 10/1 and 12/1 shots respectively, with Coleman currently in talks over renewing his Wales contract and Pulis’ wage demands apparently putting off the south London club.
Meanwhile, the other shock contender to emerge is former Chelsea right-back Dan Petrescu, who punters can get behind at 5/2.
Petrescu has far more experience as a manager, having got into management back in 2004, where he’s gone on to manage in various eastern European leagues including taking charge of Polish side Wisla Krakow and Russian Premier League outfit Kuban Krasnador.
He currently manages Dynamo Moscow who are fifth in the Russian top-flight, and his time as a Chelsea player winning various cups in the late 90s, means he too has a great understanding of the Premier League.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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