Swansea City’s failure to reach the Premier League means a likely exit for manager Steve Cooper but he will not come cheap.
The 41-year-old has been roundly praised for his work with the Swans and gaining promotion would have been the icing on the cake. However, Brentford had others ideas, with the Bees winning the Championship play-off final 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday. Cooper had already been linked with a move away from the Liberty Stadium, with Crystal Palace said to be keen.
The Eagles are in the market for a new boss after the exit of veteran coach Roy Hodgson. And the former England youth coach’s agent had been spotted at the south London club, fuelling rumours of a move.
There has been no update on whether he will take over at Selhurst Park. But The Sun are suggesting that Swansea will be entitled to £4.5million in compensation if he does quit south Wales.
That is the figure that journalist Alan Nixon has put on any potential summer exit for the Welshman and his backroom staff. It is not known if Palace would be willing to part with that sum, with many other managers looking for work.
Frank Lampard was the early bookies’ favourite but he has since appeared to rule himself out of the running.
Cooper a manager on the up
Cooper arrived at Swansea in June 2019 after leaving his post as England Under-17 coach. It was a successful spell with the Three Lions youngsters, with victory in the 2017 Under-17 World Cup.
That prompted the Swans to take a punt on the Pontypridd-born tactician. And he has guided the club to the play-offs during his two seasons at the helm.
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However, Brentford were too strong in the semi-finals last year and proved to be Swansea’s nemesis once again this time around. Cooper may remain and try to make it third time lucky after another Championship campaign.
But the lure of managing in the Premier League will be tough to resist. Hodgson has left the nucleus of a strong squad for his successor after a 14th-place finish this term.
There are squad issues to sort out, not least the future of talisman Wilfried Zaha. Palace have always manged to hold on to the Ivory Coast ace but Hodgson’s exit might see the winger follow suit.