Tony Pulis future at Palace in doubt
Tony Pulis' future as Crystal Palace manager was in doubt on Thursday evening, as the 56-year-old held crisis talks with club co-chairman Steve Parish over what the coach believes is a debilitating lack of transfer activity.
A sensational resignation on the eve of the new Premier League season should not be ruled out, with Parish understood to genuinely fear the possibility. Indeed, he spent much of Thursday's meeting with the manager in a London hotel trying to talk him down.
Pulis' disgruntlement over a lack of signings has been a long-running complaint since his appointment last November, with the prospect of a departure even raised in January.
Sources state that the coach has been "fuming" after missing out on virtually all of his top targets, and had been trying to leverage the situation to have more control over signings.
A move for Manchester United's out of favour winger Wilfried Zaha is believed to have brought the situation to a head. While Pulis has agreed to a loan deal for the young winger, the possibility has been broached of re-signing the player who began his career at Palace on a permanent deal.
Sources state that could affect the manager's plan to bring in long-term target Conor Wickham from Sunderland. If Palace do fail to sign the striker, then it would be the 10th of Pulis's requested names that he has missed out on this summer.
So far, the Selhurst Park club have only signed Frazier Campbell from Cardiff City, Brede Hangeland on a free, Blackpool's Chris Kettings and, then, on Thursday itself, Martin Kelly from Liverpool. The failure to land defender Steven Caulker, now at QPR, however, is understood to have particularly irritated Pulis.
The manager's position is strong because, if he were to go now, he would have no shortage of offers from clubs. Indeed, his stock is arguably at a peak after guiding Palace to 11th last season, in what was seen as one of the great managerial achievements of the Premier League era.