Popovic given green light to join Palace

Western Sydney Wanderers will not stand in the way of Tony Popovic if he is approached for the vacant Crystal Palace manager's job.

Former defender Popovic spent five years as a player at Selhurst Park between 2011 and 2006, returning as assistant to Dougie Freedman in February 2011 before departing again 15 months later to lead the then freshly formed Wanderers.

He has enjoyed stunning success with the A-League side, guiding them to consecutive Grand Finals - as premiers in 2012-13 - and winning the AFC Champions League this year, making them the first Australian side to win Asia's top prize.

Despite Popovic's previous success in the role, the Wanderers currently sit bottom of the A-League without a win all season and chairman Paul Lederer says he will allow his coach to talk to the Premier League side if they wish to.

"Absolutely. If he was bettering himself and went to the EPL [Premier League] and he got the top job, I'd be wishing him all the best and good luck to him," Lederer said on Monday.

"I'm absolutely sure we'll be discussing it. It could be as early as tomorrow or the day after, we'll certainly be discussing it."

The 41-year-old has emerged as an early contender to take the reins at Palace after Neil Warnock was sacked following their 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day.

Warnock's assistant Keith Millen is currently in temporary charge of the club, and helped them pick up a 0-0 draw at QPR on Sunday.

Popovic is not the only name mentioned for the Palace job, with another former Selhurst favourite – Newcastle boss Alan Pardew – also heavily linked with the role.