According to the Chronicle, Newcastle United are planning to ‘crank up’ their search for a new manager this week.
This comes from Lee Ryder’s latest piece on the search for Rafa’s replacement, with him claiming that both Lee Charnley and chief scout Steve Nickson held talks with Mike Ashley last week.
Here’s an extract from the Chronicle’s report, stating that the club have drawn up a shortlist, spoken to agents of ‘targets’ in Europe and are hoping to make progress this week before the squad fly out to China:
Newcastle United’s mission to find a new manager is set to be cranked up this week.
Managing director Lee Charnley and head of recruitment Steve Nickson held talks with Mike Ashley last week and have since flown out to Europe to talk to the agents of some targets.
The Magpies have drawn up a shortlist but will need answers by the end of the week from those being considered.
Both Belgium boss Roberto Martinez and out of work former Feyenoord boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst are still under consideration.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has also made the final shortlist, but the Ibrox club will put up a fight to retain his services – and the Scouser has already been advised that Rangers is still the club for him.
Although, Gerrard will want to see a clear and ambitious project on the table if he is to give up the security of his contract in Scotland.
But Newcastle are quite clear in the type of character they want to fit into the club.
Handling the pressure and accusations of being a “yes man” will all be part of the job, but more importantly from an internal point of view, they must be able to dovetail into the club’s current transfer blueprint.
Already some big names have distanced themselves from Newcastle but for all the chaos, there’s a big job on offer to somebody.
They’ll be asked to work closely with Charnley and Nickson and take a good look at the players that the club already have on their database.
Of course, they’ll be able to introduce targets of their own, but Newcastle don’t have time to haggle over targets with just a month of the transfer window remaining.
But the pressing matter for United right now has to be getting a manager in place.
With the constraints of working under Ashley abundantly clear, it seems likely that the next manager will be from the continent and also currently out of work, so NUFC wouldn’t have to pay any form of compensation fee. Van Bronkhorst would fit the bill and does have an impressive spell winning the title in Holland with Feyenoord after an illustrious playing career. The likes of Quique Sanchez Flores, Laurent Blanc and Mikel Arteta have also been mentioned as managers high up the club’s ‘shortlist’.
However, after a disastrous 12 year regime, it is dangerous to second guess Ashley, Charnley and co. We all remember the left field appointment of Alan Pardew and utterly calamitous spell of Jo Kinnear, so an unknown could also be appointed. Let’s face it – we have a weak squad, no promise of significant investment in this current transfer market and have just sold our top scorer.
Any top manager, even remotely near the quality of Benitez, simply won’t accept the conditions and constraints offered at Newcastle. The fact that they are only now accelerating the search is embarrassing and frustrating in equal measure, as they knew Benitez was leaving as early as May. With such an inept owner and Managing Director, the vast majority of Newcastle fans may rightly feel that the new manager is almost irrelevant – it is changing the toxic ownership that matters if we are to progress.