Aitor Karanka in pole position to get Crystal Palace job

Former Real Madrid defender was Jose Mourinho’s number two


The former Real Madrid defender Aitor Karanka is in pole position to succeed Ian Holloway as manager of Crystal Palace as the Premier League's bottom-placed club finally hope to settle upon an appointment next week.

Karanka, who worked as Jose Mourinho's number two at the Bernabeu throughout his three-year spell in Spain, spoke with the Palace co-chairman Steve Parish last week to discuss the prospect of succeeding Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park.

He was one of a number of candidates who had informal interviews, having impressed Parish with his ambition and philosophy, the Spaniard is expected back for further talks.


Alarming start
The 40-year-old, who left Real last summer when the incoming Carlo Ancelotti brought in his own coaching staff, could potentially be in place for the trip to Hull City on November 23rd as Palace seek to arrest an alarming start to their Premier League campaign.

Last weekend's loss at West Bromwich Albion was a seventh in succession, with high-flying Everton due in south London today and the caretaker manager, Keith Millen, still in temporary charge of the team.

As a player Karanka enjoyed a glittering career with Athletic Bilbao and, in particular, Real where he was part of a squad which claimed three European Cups, a La Liga title, the Spanish Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.

He managed Spain's under-16s for two years prior to joining up with Mourinho.
Guardian Service