Watford close in on Marco Silva as Crystal Palace weigh up Sean Dyche

Hull City manager Marco Silva looks dejected

Watford are closing in on their No1 managerial target after holding talks with the former Hull City head coach Marco Silva.

Silva, who has also been linked with a move to Porto and Crystal Palace, is understood to be close to agreeing a deal with the Vicarage Road club, who are looking for a swift replacement for the departed Walter Mazzarri.

The Portuguese coach, who won six of 18 league games in his 139-day spell in charge of Hull, will be joined by his assistant head coach João Pedro Sousa, his first-team coach Goncalo Pedro and his goalkeeping coach Hugo Oliveira at Watford if a deal can be struck.

Silva, who left Hull following their relegation from the Premier League, said: “Everyone knows when you have the chance to work in the Premier League, you don’t want to work in Championship. It’s normal.”

Watford made Silva their preferred choice to replace Mazzarri, whom they sacked earlier this month after a disappointing 17th-place finish. However, they had also sounded out Roger Schmidt if Silva decided on a return to his homeland with Porto.

Schmidt won the Austrian double with Red Bull Salzburg in 2014 before moving to Bayer Leverkusen, guiding them to fourth- and third-placed finishes and established them in the Champions League. The German, however, was dismissed by Leverkusen in March but has made it clear he would like to manage in England. The 50-year-old, who speaks fluent English, could now be of interest to Palace should they fail to tempt Sean Dyche to Selhurst Park.

Palace, buoyed by Wilfried Zaha’s decision to sign a new five-year contract this week, are prepared to offer Burnley a seven-figure compensation package to lure the 45-year-old, who is believed to be receptive to a new challenge. Burnley have made it clear they are determined to hold on to Dyche. The former England manager Roy Hodgson, a former Palace youth-team player, is also interested in the position vacated by Sam Allardyce this week.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Mark Dobson, for The Guardian on Friday 26th May 2017 21.06 Europe/London

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