Rafa Benitez is on the brink of becoming Newcastle United's new manager.
The 55-year-old is understood to be heading to Tyneside for face-to-face talks with managing director Lee Charnley.
And that breakthrough has spelled the end for Steve McClaren's troubled nine-month tenure as head coach.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle are expected to announce McClaren's dismissal this afternoon.
The 54-year-old had continued to work with the players – who are on a day off today – while the club sounded out Benitez through an intermediary.
United hope to quickly finalise an agreement with Benitez today.
The club is 19th in the Premier League table ahead of Monday night's game at leaders Leicester City.
More to follow