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Welsh FA look to Craig Bellamy and Tony Pulis as Chris Coleman becomes Crystal Palace target

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If punters followed the money every time in the managerial betting markets they would be poor! Tony Pulis was a short priced favourite to replace Iain Holloway as Crystal Palace boss not four days ago. Roll-on a few days and according to Welsh press reports, current national manger Chris Coleman is hot favourite to move back into Premier League management. 

Coleman, who has already had a stint in the Premier League with the likes of Fulham is expected to jump at the chance to become new Crystal Palace manager in a move which could see Craig Bellamy or Tony Pulis installed as the new team to run the national side.

According to Wales online, FA of Wales chiefs are bracing themselves for an official approach for Coleman who was last night installed as red-hot favourite to replace Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park

Palace appear to have turned to Coleman as their shock first choice candidate after a breakdown in talks with ex-Stoke boss Pulis.

And, in a bizarre twist, the chain of events would see Pulis emerge as a genuine contender to succeed Coleman should he leave the Wales job to take over at Palace.

Coleman’s representative Alan Smith, himself a former Palace manager, insisted last night that he was unaware of contact between his client and the Selhurst club.

However, asked if Coleman would still be in charge of Wales for next month’s friendly international with Finland, Smith gave a candid response.

“If you had asked me that question a week ago, I would have said definitely. But the strong speculation with Palace makes me think again.” replied Smith.

“I haven’t spoken yet to Palace, but I wouldn’t be surprised about interest from them in Chris.

“They will be fully aware that Chris’ Wales contract expires soon, so there wouldn’t be an issue of great compensation having to be paid or anything like that.”

Coleman’s future with Wales has been up in the air, with a new two-year contract on the table still unsigned.

The Welsh boss was angered by suggestions from FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford about being judged on the last two World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Macedonia, stating: “If people just think short-term like that, I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway.”

FAW power-brokers, frustrated by poor results under Coleman, are also believed to have begun looking at other possible options for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

If Coleman does leave, Ryan Giggs would be the FAW’s first choice to replace him, but the Manchester United great is becoming more and more involved in the coaching side at Old Trafford.

Giggs’ fellow Welsh legend Bellamy is also being touted for the Wales role and has refused to rule out the prospect of jumping from player to manager with his country.

If the FAW choose an experienced figure, Pulis would be a leading name in the frame, his anticipated move to the Palace hot-seat having fallen through.

Coleman would be able to double his Wales salary by joining Palace, with the prospect of a huge bonus also thrown in should he steer the club away from relegation.

But Palace know he would also cost less than half the figure they would have to pay out to land Pulis.

Palace co-chairman Steve Parish did not rule out the prospect of Coleman becoming manager as he outlined the type of manager the club want.

“I think Premier League experience is a plus,” said Parish, aware Coleman did a good job during four years at the helm with Fulham.

“We need someone the players will respect from the moment they walk into the dressing room.

Coleman has shortened from 20-1 in the Palace hot-seat betting to 11/8 favourite after a flurry of bets on him was placed.

A Paddy Power spokesman said: “Steve Parrish has outlined what Crystal Palace need and Chris Coleman seems to tick the right boxes.

"Throw into the mix that the current Welsh boss is officially unsettled and it’s no surprise that bets have flown in for him over the last few days.”

Palace have confirmed that caretaker manager Keith Millen will be in charge for Saturday's game against West Brom.

KN

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