SPECULATION is continuing to grow about the future of Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew.
Pardew is the odds-on favourite to take over at Crystal Palace, and refused to speak to the press after Newcastle beat Everton 3-2 yesterday at St James’s Park.
Newcastle are yet to comment on the situation, although Palace are expected to make a formal approach to bring their former player back to Selhurst Park.
If Pardew were to leave Tyneside, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley would need to make his first managerial appointment in over four years.
But who could United turn to? Here, the Gazette looks at 10 possible candidates to replace Pardew should he decide to leave.
Frank de Boer
De Boer is perhaps the most attractive choice to Newcastle fans, having led Ajax to four successive championships in the Netherlands.
The Dutchman has been installed as the favourite with the bookmakers to replace Pardew should he leave.
De Boer has been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the past, and it would be a major coup for Newcastle if they could lure him to Tyneside.
Whether he would be willing to swap Ajax for Newcastle is very uncertain, though, as only earlier this month de Boer said the idea of coaching abroad does not “tickle” him yet.
Bruce’s future at Hull City is uncertain, and he was heavily linked as a possible successor to Pardew when the Newcastle boss came under severe pressure earlier this season.
Since then, the two clubs have gone in opposite directions, with United pushing up the table into the top half and Hull being plunged into a relegation battle.
Bruce’s contract at the KC Stadium expires next summer, so it is likely Newcastle would have to pay minimal compensation should they decide he is the man for the job.
Whether Bruce, a former Sunderland manager, would be welcomed by the fans is another matter, while he does not have a proven track record of managing clubs in Newcastle’s current position.
One of the best up-and-coming managers in the game, Howe could fit the bill for Newcastle if they are looking for a long-term, progressive appointment.
Howe has been a huge success at Bournemouth, and has led them from the depths of League Two to the top of the Championship, via a short spell at Burnley.
It is that time at Burnley which is the only blot on his CV, as he had an up and down time at Turf Moor before opting to return to Bournemouth.
There were questions at the time as to whether he found Burnley too big a club, so a move to Newcastle at this stage may still be too early. Howe is certainly one to keep an eye on, though.
A manager with a proven track record in the Premier League, Pulis’ stock has rarely been higher.
Having led Stoke City to promotion from the Championship, the Welshman consistently kept them there before being sacked after much criticism about his style of play.
Last season, he kept Crystal Palace in the top flight against all the odds, but again his direct style was brought into question, and this does not seem to be an appointment which would be welcomed by the majority of Newcastle’s fans.
Just as Sam Allardyce’s time on Tyneside did not work out, it is unlikely Pulis would go down too well at the club, however certain Premier League survival would appear under his management.
A more risky appointment from Newcastle would be to go for Sherwood, who had a mixed spell as Tottenham Hotspur boss last season.
Sherwood achieved decent results at White Hart Lane, but his tactics were consistently questioned and he repeatedly made headlines for his brutally honest comments.
He appeared naive at times during his spell at Tottenham, and it will be interesting to see how his career pans out.
However, there appears to be too much risk attached for Ashley to even consider going along that route.
Out of work after leaving Lyon at the end of last season, Garde would surely jump at the chance to move to St James’s Park.
Newcastle chief scout Graham Carr has great contacts in France, and it remains to be seen how big a role he would play in any managerial appointment.
Were United to look to France for a Pardew successor, then Garde would be near the top of their list.
The former Arsenal player did a decent job at Lyon, and with Garde being out of work and therefore available without having to pay compensation, he is sure to attract Newcastle.
Beardsley and Ashley have a close working relationship, and the Newcastle Under-21 boss has consistently praised the club’s owner over recent years.
He has no senior management experience, but was briefly the club’s caretaker manager after the sacking of Chris Hughton four years ago.
It would not be a huge surprise to see Newcastle promote from within, as much of Ashley’s appointments at the club have been of people he has worked with before and trusts.
Beardsley has achieved good results with United’s youngsters, but whether he is ready to step into the first-team hotseat is another matter altogether.
Another manager who has been linked with Newcastle in the past, McClaren has done a good job at Derby County over the last 15 months.
The former England boss led the Rams to last season’s Championship play-off final, and they are well placed for another promotion push this term.
McClaren appears to have long-term job security at Derby, but Newcastle would surely be a temptation for him if they came calling.
He would be attractive to Ashley because of his experience, as well as his track record of bringing young players through. It would be a surprise if he did not make the shortlist.
In May, Galtier was heavily linked with the Newcastle job, with Pardew’s future at that time uncertain.
The Frenchman’s name could again crop up in the event Pardew moves to Palace, with Galtier having done a terrific job at St Etienne.
They are currently in the battle for the French title, and have improved year-on-year since Galtier took charge.
He may take some tempting to leave St Etienne, but could Ashley lure him to Tyneside?
The nightmare scenario for Newcastle fans.
Kinnear may well have been appointed the club’s permanent manager in 2009 if it were not for his heart problems, while Ashley showed his faith in him by 2013 by appointing him as director of football.
The idea of the 68-year-old returning to the dugout appears far-fetched, but this is Newcastle United. Rule nothing out.