Steve McClaren close to finalising his Newcastle backroom team

Steve McClaren and Paul Simpson
Steve McClaren and Paul Simpson

Coach Paul Simpson is free to join Steve McClaren at Newcastle United – after being told he can leave Derby County.

McClaren is recruiting his backroom team at St James’s Park.

Newcastle’s’s new head coach is looking to bring an up-and-coming coach to Tyneside – former Holland international Bolo Zenden is one candidate – and he could also recruit Simpson.

Simpson was first-team coach under McClaren at Derby, the club he served as head coach until his sacking last month.

However, United were not willing to pay compensation for Simpson, who has previously managed in his own right. His release from the Championship club means he is now free to take a job elsewhere.

McClaren could also bring Derby’s strength and conditioning coach Alessandro Schoenmaker to United.

The 54-year-old also worked with Schoenmaker during his two spells in charge of Dutch club FC Twente.

McClaren is also hoping to persuade renowned sports psychologist Steve Black to join him at United, where he has signed an initial three-year contract.

The Geordie had been at Queens Park Rangers, where he had worked with Newcastle transfer target Charlie Austin.

Talks are ongoing with Black, who has worked with some illustrious names, including World Cup-winning England rugby international Jonny Wilkinson, in his career in sport.

Zenden, meanwhile, is under consideration for a key role under McClaren at Newcastle.

The 38-year-old played for McClaren during his time at Middlesbrough.

Zenden – who also had a spell in the North East as a player with rivals Sunderland – is the assistant coach to PSV Eindhoven’s reserve team.

McClaren is understood to be keen to recruit a recently-retired player to work with his squad.

And Zenden, regarded as an intelligent and forward-thinking coach, is one of two or three names being considered for the role.

McClaren is keen to finalise his staff over the coming days so he can begin preparations in earnest for the next season.