Newcastle poised to sack manager McCLaren
Steve McClaren's future at Newcastle United remained in a state of damaging limbo on Monday night although the former England coach is expected to be sacked within the next 48 hours. On Monday Newcastle's board met to formalise crisis talks which had begun on Sunday after the 3-1 surrender the day before against Bournemouth at St James' Park.
McClaren is still scheduled to take training on Tuesday morning. Lee Charnley, the managing director, Graham Carr, the chief scout, and the club ambassador, Bob Moncur, met in York where alternatives to McClaren were discussed and a process of "due diligence" began on the potential of certain candidates to lead an escape from relegation.
Two notable absentees were Mike Ashley, the owner, who remained in London but will make the final decision, and McClaren, whose position as a director has always been somewhat semantic. Keith Bishop, a key adviser to Ashley, is said to have been in frequent contact with Charnley, who has been reluctant to dismiss McClaren and was not prepared to rush into a hasty sacking.
Despite Newcastle being second bottom of the Premier League there is believed to be no lack of out-of-work managers interested in the potential vacancy.
Their number is understood to include two former Liverpool managers, Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers, and the former Everton coach David Moyes. With the former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson also available Newcastle have much to ponder.
Even so, time is short and the prospect of losing countless millions by missing out on the next television deal could yet prompt Ashley to reach a swift decision, identifying a coach he believes capable of bringing the best out of an underperforming squad. It appears Ayoze Perez feels some form of change is imperative.