Premier League Club Shortlist Ipswich Town Man

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna is a target for Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace, according to journalist Alan Nixon.

The Eagles are thought to be planning for the summer, where veteran boss Roy Hodgson is expected to be replaced. There is a growing pressure on the former England manager though, with the London-based side currently just five points above the relegation places ahead of their showdown with Chelsea tomorrow night.

McKenna has caught the attention of a host of Premier League clubs over the past 12 months. After joining Ipswich from Manchester United in 2021, he guided the Tractor Boys back to the Championship in his first full season in charge.

It is his achievements this season that have put him in the public eye though, having spent much of the campaign in the automatic promotion spots as the East Anglians look to return to the top tier for the first time in 22 years. However, recent form has seen them drop to fourth, with both Southampton and Leeds United taking advantage of recent slip ups.

That hasn’t put off Palace though, who have the 37-year-old on their shortlist to take the reins once Hodgson departs. According to Nixon, other candidates are preferred – such as ex-Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper, England manager Gareth Southgate and Lille head coach Paulo Fonseca.

McKenna committed his future to Ipswich last summer by penning a new four-year contract, which is said to include a £4 million release clause. This is a figure that Palace would rather avoid paying, although he hasn’t been ruled out completely.

Yesterday’s 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion allowed second-placed Southampton to move four points clear of their promotion rivals, whilst Leeds United are now three points above them in third following a comfortable 3-0 win against Rotherham United. A trip to Millwall on Wednesday night is next on the agenda as the ex-Red Devils coach looks to end a run of one win from their last nine league fixtures.

Writer’s View

Kieran McKenna will continue to be linked with a host of Premier League jobs over the coming months, although Ipswich will be comfortable with the situation. The young manager is tied down at Portman Road until 2027 and it would take a hefty sum to prise him away.

Furthermore, he is happy at the club and knows time is on his side. The ultimate aim is to help the Tractor Boys end their two-decade stint outside the top tier. Barring an absolute disaster, a play-off place is all-but-assured and it is arguably better to get this mid-season slump out of the way now rather than losing form at the tail end of the campaign.

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