Saudis close to ‘final decision’ as new report names 7 contenders & first choice sporting director

An update on the hunt for a new manager and sporting director at Newcastle United has arrived from The Telegraph.

Luke Edwards’ latest piece states that Amanda Staveley and other board members look set to submit their final recommendations to chairman and ultimate decision maker Yasir Al-Rumayan this week, with a final decision expected to arrive back from the Saudi PIF in time for the upcoming international break.

This means Graeme Jones could well be handed another game in charge before the new manager arrives, with us facing a trip to Brighton on Saturday night.

The report claims that the Saudi-backed consortium believe the need for a new voice is ‘urgent’, however the process has been complicated by the fact there are ‘so many competing voices’ – all with different ideas on who is the best man for the job.

On the subject of who could come in, here’s a snippet from the piece itself, revealing seven managers who have been discussed and how Marc Overmars is currently ‘first choice’ when it comes to our sporting director search:

Former Everton and Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has emerged as the favourite with the bookmakers and sources have told Telegraph Sport that he is interested in taking the job.

However, the Catalan is also torn between staying with Belgium until after the World Cup in Qatar next year. It has also been noted by those involved in the recruitment process that he has been linked with a host of Premier League vacancies since the World Cup in 2018, but has not left his international role.

Former Chelsea captains John Terry and Frank Lampard have also been spoken to, to assess whether they are the right men for the job, while former Bournemouth manager, Eddie Howe, has also expressed an interest.

Former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre and ex-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca are the other leading foreign candidates.

Marc Overmars, director of football at Ajax, is thought to be first choice to fill a similar role on Tyneside and the former Arsenal winger is weighing up his options. That has also helped fuel Newcastle’s interest in his manager in Amsterdam, Erik ten Hag. The latter, though, is unlikely to leave Ajax until the summer at the earliest and could be of interest to Manchester United if they part company with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Telegraph Sport had been told at the start of the search that the preference was to appoint a manager who is out of work and has experience in, and knowledge of, the Premier League. Newcastle are in a relegation battle after ten games, meaning they could not afford to let someone learn about English football on the job.

That would not automatically rule anyone out, as the public face of the consortium Amanda Staveley has already interviewed Fonseca and is believed to have spoken to Favre too in the last few days.

Talks with John Terry will come as a surprise, while the likes of Fonseca and Favre may be more and more unlikely to land the job based on claims the new owners prefer to appoint someone with Premier League experience.

Elsewhere, Martinez and Howe appear to be interested, Ten Hag unlikely and Terry and Lampard both potentially risky moves based on their lack of experience?

Some bookies had Unai Emery down as the new favourite as of last night – an intriguing option given he’ll be motivated to take his European success into the Premier League after barely being given a chance to prove himself at Arsenal.

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

6 thoughts on “Saudis close to ‘final decision’ as new report names 7 contenders & first choice sporting director

  1. What PL experience did any of the foreign managers have when they first arrived? A poor excuse and being led by someone who wants a PL experienced pal of theirs to get the job. Howe, Lampard, Gerrard and now Terry have lots of playing experience but totally different to any managing success. We could lose out. Hwtl

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  2. Fonseca seems a good option.
    Popular with the fans and plays an attacking style.

    A few key signings in Jan and some really good loans and we could be a different team very quickly.

    #HWTL

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  3. Big NUFC since EARLY 80’s, Please get your act together and bring in strong young and experience players in Jan 22… Lets stick together and avoid the drop!
    Get a head coach who is adventures not lazy!

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  4. So the bookies have Martinez down as favourite so he must be the choice??? Disgusting how betting rules football stories, its as if journalists are pumping out stories to generate business for the bookies…..didn’t have match fixing until betting crept into football. Sorry to see the NUFC Blog promoting this.

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  5. ‘ get your act together ‘
    Jesus what do fans expect?
    The takeover took everyone by surprise including our new owners, if they knew it was happening we’d have Rafa at the helm right now.
    This is probably the biggest decision they’ll make so I for one can wait so they get it right.
    Yes I know we’re in the mire but that wouldn’t change instantly with a new man at the helm anyway.
    Patience is key the job in hand is massive.

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  6. what we don’t want, I think, is inexperieced blokes like lampard and terry and I don’t think martinez has a very good portfolio so I say go for the ones who have had the most sucesses in their managerial careers and not how good a footballer they were or where they have managed. 😥

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