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Palace allow Bolton to approach Freedman

Crystal Palace have given Bolton Wanderers permission to talk to their manager Dougie Freedman as they continue their search for a successor to replace the sacked Owen Coyle.

• Solskjaer rules out Bolton
• Campo keen on Bolton job
• Coyle sacked by Bolton

Freedman has done an impressive job at Palace guiding them to fourth place in the Championship and leading them to the semi-final of last season's Carling Cup, defeating Manchester United in the quarter-final, despite operating on a limited budget.

But his contract at Selhurst Park expires in the summer and Bolton are keen to take advantage of this by offering him a lucrative three-year deal at the Reebok Stadium.

Palace rejected an initial approach for Freedman on Monday morning but the Eagles later confirmed the Scottish boss could talk to Bolton.

A statement on Palace's official website read: "Following further discussions throughout the day, Crystal Palace Football Club can confirm that permission has been granted for Dougie Freedman to speak to Bolton Wanderers regarding their vacant managerial position."

Since Coyle's departure, Bolton have been led by caretaker-manager Jimmy Phillips - a former Wanderers player and the club's academy director - who has emerged as a candidate to get the job on a permanent basis.

Phillips said on Monday: "We had the players in training on Sunday and Phil (Gartside), the chairman, came in to say he's had contact with Crystal Palace to speak to Dougie Freedman. Whether that goes ahead we don't know."

Phillips, who has been assisted by former Bolton boss Sammy Lee and Julian Darby, was in charge for Saturday's 3-2 win over Bristol City.

"I don't think myself, Sammy and Julian have any doubts we could do the job," Phillips said after the game. "Whether we continue to work at first-team level won't be our decision."

Mick McCarthy has been heavily linked and is also understood to be interested in taking over from Coyle.

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