Next Crystal Palace manager: Five contenders

After Tony Pulis left Crystal Palace on Thursday evening, Sports Mole picks out five managers that could replace him at Selhurst Park.

Speculation had intensified throughout Thursday that Tony Pulis, who had been named as the Premier League Manager of the Year last season for sparking a miraculous turnaround at Crystal Palace, was involved in showdown talks with chairman Steve Parish.

It had been reported that the pair were at odds regarding the club's transfer policy, and after their working relationship was considered to be damaged beyond repair, it was revealed that Pulis had departed Selhurst Park by mutual consent.

Below, Sports Mole selects five contenders for the vacant position as Palace prepare to start the season against Arsenal on Saturday evening.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay prior to kick-off in the match against Manchester United on November 24, 2013© Getty Images
1. Malky Mackay

After he left Cardiff City at the end of 2013, it's something of a surprise that Malky Mackay hasn't found a new club, but the Scot was quickly installed as the favourite with the bookmakers to replace Pulis at Selhurst Park.

As well as enhancing his reputation in the Welsh capital, Mackay impressed many with his conduct in the aftermath of having his ability questioned by Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan, and it won't be too long before the Scot is back in work.

One factor that could help Mackay's bid to become Palace boss is the presence of Cardiff's former head of recruitment Iain Moody, with the pair having struck up a close working relationship during their time in Wales and, before that, Watford.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon prior to kick-off during the Champions League match against Barcelona on October 1, 2013© Getty Images
2. Neil Lennon

After his decision to end his successful spell with Celtic in search of a new challenge, Neil Lennon appears to be a strong candidate to replace Pulis, and he revealed last weekend that he is keen to return to management at the earliest opportunity.

Lennon may have ambitions to take charge of a more established Premier League outfit, but with all of the top positions filled, he could jump at the chance to take over at the London club.

It remains to be seen whether Lennon would be happy to work on a restricted budget, but rather than wait for another job to be made available, Crystal Palace could be the perfect place for Lennon to make his Premier League managerial bow.

Tottenham Hotspur's manager Tim Sherwood points to the fans at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich on April 12, 2014.© Getty Images
3. Tim Sherwood

Despite winning half of his games in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, it was one of football's worst-kept secrets that Tim Sherwood would leave White Hart Lane after just six months in charge, but that hasn't stopped him being linked with a number of roles.

He was said to be in the running for the positions at Brighton & Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion before eventually missing out, but he is likely to be tempted to push forward to try to return to the touchline with Crystal Palace.

Despite his lack of experience, Sherwood appears to have a future as a Premier League manager and taking over from Pulis could prove to be an ideal fit for both manager and club.

David Moyes the Manchester United manager looks on prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park on February 22, 2014© Getty Images
4. David Moyes

Despite a disappointing period in charge of Manchester United, David Moyes retains a strong standing in British football after his consistency at Everton and that sees him linked with any position that becomes available in the top flight.

It's unlikely that any of the top six clubs will take a risk on the Scot which leaves him to assess him options elsewhere, and while the stature of Crystal Palace is on a different scale compared to Manchester United, he could be open to the challenge of building on the work done by Pulis.

Parish has talked about wanting to see Crystal Palace in Europe in three years time, and that kind of ambition could attract Moyes to Selhurst Park if he is given enough funds to try to build a competitive team.

Former England manager Glenn Hoddle is interviewed for British televison ahead of the UEFA Champions League football match between Benfica and Chelsea at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, on March 26, 2012© Getty Images
5. Glenn Hoddle

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp surprised many by adding Glenn Hoddle to his backroom staff at Loftus Road earlier this week but it's a decision that has resulted in the former England manager being seen as a viable option for clubs searching for a new boss.

The Hoops won't welcome any approach for Hoddle, but the fact that it has taken just days for him to be linked with a top-flight team may tell the former Tottenham Hotspur chief that he is too well regarded in the game to be playing second fiddle at QPR.

It's unclear whether Hoddle would want to consider taking over at Palace, but after eight years away from the dugout, it's an opportunity that he could struggle to turn down should he be made an offer.

Tony Pulis manager of Crystal Palace gives instructions from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Crystal Palace at Boleyn Ground on April 19, 2014
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