NEWCASTLE United have begun a search for Alan Pardew’s successor – with John Carver in the frame for the job.
Assistant manager Carver is in temporary charge of the team for tomorrow’s New Year’s Day home game against Burnley.
Tim Sherwood and Hull City manager Steve Bruce are the bookmakers’ favourites to succeed Pardew at St James’s Park.
Sherwood is available, having been sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager in May, but United would need to pay compensation to take Corbridge-born Bruce, a boyhood Newcastle fan, from Hull.
However, United captain Fabricio Coloccini, the early favourite, is not a candidate.
Pardew – who yesterday said his goodbyes to Newcastle’s players and staff – is expected to be today confirmed as Neil Warnock’s successor at Crystal Palace.
The 53-year-old is set for a significant pay rise at Selhurst Park, where he spent four years as a player.
United owner Mike Ashley – who has been on holiday in Barbados – will now assess the club’s options.
Ashley has previously shown a preference for internal appointments in both football and administrative roles, and Carver – who also served as Sir Bobby Robson’s No 2 – could take charge on a longer-term basis.
The 49-year-old was a manager in his own right at Major League Soccer club Toronto FC.
He spoke to the Press after Sunday’s 3-2 win over Everton at St James’s Park – Pardew chose not to speak to journalists – and he is due to speak to the media today ahead of the Burnley game.
And Carver – who has six years left on his contract – could even put himself forward for the post.
The club could even change its management structure and name a head coach as Pardew’s successor.
Such a move could feasibly suit Carver, who went into coaching early after his playing career was cut short by injury.
Pardew did not have the final say on recruitment during his four years at St James’s Park – he wanted a bigger say in transfers – but his departure from Newcastle was amicable.
Ashley agreed on compensation of more than £2m for Pardew, who is keen to be in the dugout for Palace’s game against Aston Villa at Villa Park tomorrow.
Crucially, Pardew will have full control of the incomings and outgoings at Selhurst Park.
Meanwhile, United first-team coach Steve Stone – also on a long-term contract – will assist Carver during his time in temporary charge.
Goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman, however, could follow Pardew to Palace, where he started his own playing career.