Crystal Palace closing on Lucien Favre after baulking at Steve Cooper release clause

Tom Gott
Swansea refused to negotiate Steve Cooper's release clause
Swansea refused to negotiate Steve Cooper's release clause / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Exclusive - Crystal Palace had hoped to name Swansea City's Steve Cooper as their new manager, but the cost of his release clause has seen the Eagles turn to Lucien Favre.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss is now in advanced negotiations with Palace over a deal to replace Roy Hodgson, who stepped down at the end of last season.

The pursuit of Favre looks to be the conclusion to a lengthy search for a new manager, which saw a deal for Nuno Espirito Santo collapse late on and Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard and Sean Dyche all come under consideration.

After the Nuno deal broke down, Palace re-evaluated their options and sources have confirmed to 90min that the Eagles put their focus on Cooper, who has impressed during his time with Championship side Swansea.

However, Palace's interest was met with fierce resistance from the Swans, who declined to grant their boss permission to speak with Palace until his £3m release clause was met, and Palace refused to pay up.

Brentford v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final
Steve Cooper on the touchline during the Championship play-off final / Athena Pictures/Getty Images

For Swansea that fee was non-negotiable, as the Welsh club see Cooper as the man to lead them back to the Premier League after losing the play-off final in 2020/21, and talks between the two sides swiftly broke down.

Favre's interest in the position emerged soon after and talks with the 63-year-old Swiss have progressed well, with sources close to the situation confirming that Palace are ecstatic with the prospect of working with Favre.

Lucien Favre
Palace are looking forward to working with Favre / Lars Baron/Getty Images

Seen as a manager capable of helping smaller sides punch above their weight, Favre received impeccable references from those around him. The boss is known as an easy-going trainer who favours an attack-minded style of play, and that's exactly what Palace are looking for.

An agreement with Favre is yet to be fully secured but there is an optimism on both sides that everything should be sorted out soon, with Favre's need to obtain a work permit the only likely obstacle from this point on.

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