Steve McClaren is in pole position to be named Newcastle United’s new head coach - but Lee Clark has made a late bid for the job.
McClaren is the bookies’ favourite after Newcastle’s interest in Patrick Vieira cooled.
It would be my dream to manage the club.Lee Clark
However, former Magpies midfielder Clark has thrown his hat in the ring for the job after his resignation from Blackpool.
The Gazette understands Clark formally applied for the job last week, and was told he was in the thoughts of the Newcastle hierarchy.
And yesterday he admitted it would love to take control of his boyhood team.
“It would be my dream to manage the club,” said Clark.
“People ask John Carver how he could take the job with the owner not spending, but if you’re a Geordie and you turn down being Newcastle manager, you’ll regret it for life.”
However, it looks like McClaren – first choice of managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr since Alan Pardew quit the club at the turn of the year – is set to take the job at the third time of asking.
McClaren, sacked by Derby County last week, twice turned down approaches from United – first in January and again once Derby’s Championship campaign ended.
However, that doesn’t seem to have deterred Charnley, and with planned talks with Vieira failing to materialise, and the likes of Remi Garde and Michael Laudrup considered outsiders, the ex-England boss is firm favourite.
McClaren would be prepared to work under the structure put in place by owner Mike Ashley, where he will be largely left to just coach the players at his disposal, with Carr and Charnley in charge of transfers.
It was thought Vieira would have wanted more control, but as it happens Newcastle never found out as the two parties didn’t get as close as meeting for talks.
Vieira has been linked with the vacant manager’s job at Turkish side Fenerbahce.
Meanwhile, Charnley held talks with John Carver yesterday over his role at Newcastle, with the Geordie expected to return to the coaching ranks after his disastrous spell in charge in the second half of the season.