Crystal Palace has made contact with representatives of Lucien Favre as they step up the search to replace Roy Hodgson, former Borussia Dortmund manager expected to speak in the coming days.

Favre has been out of work since being sacked by Dortmund in December, having guided them to second place for two full seasons in charge. The former Swiss midfielder is said to be keen to manage in the Premier League and would be of interest to other clubs, with Everton being linked with the 63-year-old.

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez has also come forward as a candidate to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park, as has Nuno Espírito Santo, whose talks with Palace collapsed this month after concerns over his requests.

Favre was reportedly identified by Palace co-chairman Steve Parish as one of the top contenders due to his reputation for building attacking teams and killing young players.

Burnley’s Sean Dyche is also believed to remain a contender although any move is likely to depend on significant compensation.

Parish and athletic director Dougie Freedman lead the search for a manager. The parish said on Tuesday that it had been “difficult”. He told the BBC: “We have to find the right person to help us do it. Not only immediately but [someone who] will also help us with the young players that we want to bring. So this is an important decision, these things take longer than you would like.

Parish said he would consider offers for Wilfried Zaha, the Ivorian striker entering the last two years of his contract and wishing to move. “We understand his position,” Parish said. “It’s no secret that he would like to challenge himself. But it must be good for the club. He understands it too. “

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