PHOTO: Steve McClaren on the brink as Rafa Benitez deal edges closer
McClaren was pictured arriving at the club's Benton HQ this morning for today's training session.
However, it could yet be his last as head coach.
Newcastle, having sounded out Benitez through an intermediary, are ready to open formal talks with the 55-year-old.
United will first have to dismiss McClaren, whose position has been untenable since the weekend's 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth.
Fans chanted for McClaren's sack during the game.
Newcastle are 19th in the Premier League and a point adrift of safety ahead of Monday night's game against leaders Leicester City.
Follow our live NUFC blog here