Premier League's bottom club turn to former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen as search to replace Ian Holloway continues

Crystal Palace are holding talks with Rene Meulensteen, the former Manchester United first-team coach, about becoming their new manager after Aitor Karanka decided to join Middlesbrough.

Meulensteen has been out of work since leaving Old Trafford in the summer following David Moyes's arrival as Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement. He had been speaking to the Qatar Football Association about a potentially lucrative role as their technical director but he is understood to be more keen on taking a managerial position in England.

Karanka had been linked with the Palace vacancy and is thought to have spoken to officials at Selhurst Park but the 40 year-old, who was Jose Mourinho's assistant at Real Madrid until the summer, has decided to take his first manager's job in the Championship rather than at a club sitting bottom of the Premier League.

Steve Gibson, the Middlesbrough chairman, had hinted that he wanted a foreign manager after parting company with three British ones in Gareth Southgate, Gordon Strachan and Tony Mowbray since Steve McClaren quit to become England manager in 2006.

Karanka's inexperience and lack of knowledge of English football means his appointment is a gamble by Gibson, but he comes highly recommended by Mourinho.

Asked about speculation linking the Basque coach to jobs in England, Mourinho insisted that Karanka would be an excellent choice despite his lack of prior experience.

"I know him very well," Mourinho said. "I think the club that gets him, whether in England or in another country, will be very lucky."