Steve McClaren was facing the sack today as crisis-hit Newcastle United close in on Rafa Benitez.
The club is increasingly hopeful that Benitez can be persuaded to succeed McClaren at St James's Park.
However, the 55-year-old wants to be a manager – and NOT a head coach.
A report from the well-informed AS newspaper in Spain claims a three-year deal will be put on the table.
It is not clear whether the contract would have a break clause in it allowing Benitez to leave in the event of relegation.
McClaren took training this morning at the club's Benton HQ.
The 54-year-old, appointed last summer, is widely expected to be dismissed by managing director Lee Charnley in the next 24 hours.
United would then enter formal talks with Benitez, sacked as Real Madrid manager in January.
Up to now, the club's negotiations with the 55-year-old have been conducted through an intermediary.
Benitez could yet be appointed in time to take charge of the team for Monday night's game at Premier League leaders Leicester City.
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