Malky Mackay is to be named as successor to Tony Pulis at Crystal Palace. The Scot has agreed a three-year contract to take up the reins at Selhurst Park.
The former Cardiff City manager, who has been out of work since leaving the Welsh club last December, was interviewed by Palace on Sunday and Monday and beat off competition from Tim Sherwood to secure the post. He is likely to be confirmed formally by the club on Wednesday, with his first game in charge to be against one of his former clubs, West Ham United, on Saturday and work already under way to bring in new players before the transfer window closes on 1 September.
The Scot has limited Premier League experience, both as player and manager, but crucially does benefit from a close relationship with the Palace sporting director, Iain Moody, with whom he worked at Cardiff.
The London club have made only three senior additions to their squad this summer to recruit another four players before the closure of the transfer window. Given the time constraints, Mackay’s familiarity with working alongside Moody clearly strengthened his claim.
Efforts are expected to resume to secure the Southampton midfielder Jack Cork, who has entered the final year of his contract at St Mary’s and is effectively available for about £3m. Palace are also seeking a left-back and a winger, potentially their former player Wilfried Zaha, who appears to have little future at Manchester United.
Efforts will also be made to sign a striker with interest retained in Sunderland’s Connor Wickham – it remains to be seen if the England Under-21 international is as keen on a move to Palace – and Mackay is expected to inquire into the availability of Watford’s Troy Deeney, whom he signed from Walsall for £500,000 in 2010 during his spell in charge at Vicarage Road.
Mackay’s reunion with Moody will end an eight-month absence from the game since his turbulent spell under Vincent Tan’s chairmanship at Cardiff.
He will inherit funds to strengthen his squad but will have to ensure any recruits fall within the wage structure that had so frustrated Pulis, who departed Selhurst Park last week – only 36 hours before their opening Premier League fixture of the season, a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal.
Sherwood had also impressed at interview, although the former Tottenham Hotspur manager – who secured 42 points from his 22 games in charge last season after succeeding André Villas-Boas – had been keen to bring his own coaching staff, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, with him to the club. It was also unclear whether he would be willing to work with Moody who, along with the caretaker manager, Keith Millen, and the first-team coach, Ben Garner, remains integral to the set-up at Palace.It is not yet decided whether Gerry Francis, who had been working on an informal basis at the club with Pulis, now follows Dave Kemp in departing Selhurst Park. Other candidates for the manager’s role, most notably the ex-Fulham and Spurs head coach Martin Jol, were only ever on the fringe of the reckoning.