Crystal Palace could move for Nuno Espirito Santo
Crystal Palace could look at a move for Al-Ittihad manager Nuno Espirito Santo, according to The Daily Express’ Ryan Taylor.
The Lowdown: Vieira sacked
The Eagles officially parted ways with Patrick Vieira on Friday morning after a run of 11 games without a win in 2023. Wednesday’s Premier League defeat to rivals Brighton & Hove Albion proved to be Vieira’s final game in charge, with Steve Parish and co now on the hunt for his long-term replacement.
Palace have a trip to league leaders Arsenal to prepare for on Sunday afternoon, with backroom staff members Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun also leaving the club.
The Latest: Nuno claim
Taylor shared a story for The Daily Express shortly after Vieira was sacked on Friday morning. He looked at five possible options to come in at Selhurst Park, one of which being Nuno. Taylor said:
‘Nuno was previously on the verge of being appointed Palace boss in June 2021 before a deal collapsed at the eleventh hour.
“The former Wolves manager is now working in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ittihad but there is a sense he would be open to returning to the Premier League where he has a point to prove after being sacked by Tottenham in 2021 just months into his tenure.
“The Portuguese coach is renowned for playing a back-three, a system that was so effective as he guided Wolves to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in 2019/20. Nuno’s contract in the Middle East is thought to contain a release clause though meaning Palace would have to reach for the chequebook if they were to agree terms with the 49-year-old.”
The Verdict: Good option?
Nuno has enjoyed a successful stint in Saudi Arabia so far, winning 11 of his last 12 games in charge of Al-Ittihad. He also has proven Premier League experience and was hailed by Gary Lineker for his “fabulous job” with Wolves, where he took them from the Championship to the Europa League.
The 49-year-old also likes to play a 4-2-3-1 system and has wins over high-flying Premier League managers like Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp on his CV. His record against Palace also stands at four wins from eight games, and you’d expect he would arrive in London full of confidence, should a move go through.
Therefore, he could prove to be a shrewd target by Palace chiefs, who you expect will want Vieira’s replacement brought in relatively quickly to work with the squad during the international break ahead of the run-in.