CRYSTAL PALACE look set to appoint Patrick Vieira as their new manager.
The France legend was available at 20/1 earlier this month but now stands as the 1/10 favourite to fill the vacant role at Selhurst Park.
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The Athletic claim Vieira, 45, has reached an agreement with Crystal Palace chiefs in principal.
No contracts have been officially signed – though it's believed the deal will be 'rubber stamped' later today.
The former New York City and Nice boss is already in the process of applying for his visa.
And there are hopes that everything will be sorted before the first day of pre-season training on Monday.
Vieira's appointment will put an end to Palace's long-running saga to replace Roy Hodgson.
The Eagles were initially close to bringing Nuno Espirito Santo to South London.
Next Crystal Palace Manager – Sky Bet Odds
- Patrick Vieira – 1/10
- Lucien Favre – 16/1
- Steve Cooper – 18/1
- Dougie Freedman – 20/1
- Eddie Howe – 20/1
- Frank Lampard – 20/1
- Javi Gracia – 20/1
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However, after three days of negotiations – talks broke down over the budget for his backroom staff.
Lucien Favre had also been close to the role.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager had agreed a three-year deal to take over but made a dramatic 11th-hour decision to extend his break from football.
He's still Vieira's closest challenger in Sky Bet's odds at 16/1.
Highly-rated Swansea boss Steve Cooper is next at 18/1 with Dougie Freedman, Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard and Javi Gracia all locked together at 20s.
Despite being released by Nice, Vieira was in no doubt that his future lies in management.
He told French newspaper L'Equipe in April: "This desire to be in training, this adrenaline on the bench… I know and I am convinced I was made for it.
"My ambition is to have a very good career as a coach. I am determined. And we are only at the beginning.
"I will give myself the means to succeed. As a player, I have always looked for things, I have always fought. It will be the same in this job. I’ll go get what I want. I want to go to the very highest level."
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