Crystal Palace hold talks with Republic of Ireland target Martin O’Neill
Palace also met with Tony Pulis, but wages could prove stumbling block for both
Crystal Palace have held initial talks with Martin O’Neill and Tony Pulis as they step up their search for a new manager. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty
O’Neill, who has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in March, is understood to have spoken to the Palace co-chairman Steve Parish, who is overseeing the appointment process, on Sunday when the top flight’s bottom club sought to gauge his interest.
That meeting was followed by talks on Monday with Pulis, who had been earmarked as a potential candidate at the press conference to announce Holloway’s departure last week.
Palace accept that both candidates, while immediately available, will need plenty of convincing if they are to take up the reins at the club.
O’Neill, 61, had quickly emerged as Giovanni Trapattoni’s replacement-in-waiting with the Republic of Ireland, even if the process of replacing the Italian, who was sacked in September, has dragged over recent weeks.
While it is now by no means certain that O’Neill will take the role with the Republic, his salary demands could prove a major stumbling block for both the national association and Palace.
Pulis, who has never been relegated over a 21-year coaching career, commanded a basic annual wage of more than €1.75 million, plus hefty bonuses, at Stoke City who sacked him at the end of last season.
He would be seeking a similar amount to take up the position in south London and that is well in excess of the salary commanded by Holloway over his 11-month spell in charge.
Pulis has been considered by a number of clubs, including Sunderland, Derby County and Middlesbrough, this season but continues to keep his options open.
Palace’s predicament – they have lost eight of their nine league games this season – will also come into the experienced pair’s thinking.