Crystal Palace: Tony Pulis close to being confirmed as new boss

Crystal Palace are close to confirming Tony Pulis as their new manager.

The 55-year-old, who has been out of work since leaving Stoke at the end of last season, is finalising the deal, which is expected to be completed on Saturday.

He will succeed Ian Holloway, who left Selhurst Park on 23 October by mutual consent.

Palace are bottom of the Premier League, with four points from 11 games, going into Saturday's match at Hull.

Pulis will watch from the stands at KC Stadium as he awaits the all-clear to start work as Palace manager.

The club's hierarchy returned to Pulis, who has been among the front-runners for the job since Holloway's exit, after being disappointed by the calibre of the other candidates who had applied.

Welshman Pulis was appointed Potters boss for a second time in 2006 and two years later led them into the Premier League after a 23-year absence.

Despite not finishing lower than 14th in five seasons in the Premier League, he left the Britannia Stadium by mutual consent in the summer after being told the board wanted to take the club in a "different direction".

Summer changes cost Palace - Holloway

Pulis admitted in October that he was keen to return to management but insisted "the job had to be right."

Initially, he did express reservations about a number of aspects of the Palace post. He has never been relegated during his 21-year coaching career, and if he does take the job he would want to be allowed to bolster the squad in the January transfer window in order to try to preserve that record.

Eagles chairman Steve Parish had also explored the possibility of appointing former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu, who is now manager of Dinamo Moscow.

However, Petrescu told AFP news agency: "I have not been in talks with any club being under contract with another outfit. And I'm not set to do it in the future."

Struggling Palace are believed to be reluctant to appoint a young up-and-coming coach for fear of giving fans and players the impression they were already planning for relegation.

The London club have won just one and lost nine of their 11 matches, and are six points adrift of safety.