Former Mourinho assistant Karanka in talks over Crystal Palace post

Jose Mourinho’s assistant at Real Madrid, Aitor Karanka, has held talks over becoming the new manager of Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace, the Daily Mail has reported.

Karanka was Mourinho’s assistant throughout his three years at the Santiago Bernabeu and has already met Palace co-owner Steve Parish. Parish is seeking a replacement for Ian Holloway, who left Selhurst Park in October days after the Eagles fell to a heavy home defeat against Fulham.

A former Spain international centre-back, Karanka joins Martin O’Neill and Tony Pulis in having held discussions over the role, and has been backed by Mourinho to one day thrive in management. “I know him very, very well. I think the club that gets him, whether in England or another country, will be a lucky club,” the Chelsea boss said.

Karanka has never held a managerial post and the Mail speculates that lack of experience could count against him as Palace look for a manager to maintain their top flight status. The 40-year-old left Madrid in the summer after Mourinho’s successor Carlo Ancelotti chose to appoint his own backroom staff.

A Real Madrid player for five years between 1997 and 2002, Karanka began his career with Athletic Bilbao, returning to the Basque country after leaving the capital before a spell with Colorado Rapids ended his playing career in 2006. He formerly coached the Spain Under-16 team, won a single cap for the senior national side and represented Spain at the 1996 Olympic Games.

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