David Moyes in the frame to take over at Newcastle as Steve McClaren nears the exit door
David Moyes is expected to open talks with Newcastle United about becoming their next head coach over the next few days following the abject 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth.
The North-East club are expected to sack incumbent Steve McClaren after the club’s fifth defeat in sixth matches left them one point from safety at the foot of the Premier League.
They have identified Moyes s the best man to try to save them from relegation with 10 games remaining are aware of Moyes’ interest in the Newcastle job.
McClaren yesterday insisted that he would will not walk away from the job as head despite being subjected to taunts of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ from furious Newcastle fans at St James’ Park.
Asked if he will resign, having seen one fan hurl his season ticket at the dugouts, McClaren said: “No way. That’s for other people to decide. I’ve got enough experience, I’ve been through this kind of thing before and that’s the perils of being a manager.
“Am I the right man for the job? You’ll have to ask them [the club hierarchy]. I can’t control that. Will I still be here next week? I hope so. I understand the frustrations of supporters, damn right I do. We have enough in us to get out of trouble, but if we play like we did today, then we won’t.”
However, Telegraph Sport understands the club’s owner Mike Ashley is ready to intervene and will urge managing director Lee Charnley to sack the head coach this weekend after a terrible eight-month reign. His players had released a strongly worded statement before the game emphasising their support for the manager but their performance yesterday did not reflect that commitment.
Ashley has been reluctant to get involved in the decision-making at St James’ Park after supporters turned on him last season, but he realises it is time for firm leadership in a relegation crisis and was preparing to hold talks about McClaren’s future yesterday evening . Although he was not in charge of recruitment, it is thought he should have got more out of players at his disposal. Ashley’s minimum requirement this season was to avoid another relegation battle.
Moyes has been out of work since he was sacked by Real Socieded in November, but Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has tried to appoint the Scot before and was hugely impressed with the job he did at Everton.
Celtic have wanted Moyes to commit to replacing Ronny Delia as their manager for the start of next season, but he has refused to make any promises because he would prefer to return to the Premier League.
There are potential stumbling blocks to remove in negotiations, but the job does appeal to the former Manchester United manager.
Moyes knows he would be taking a risk accepting the Newcastle job given their troubles under Ashley and he would will want reassurances about player recruitment.
McClaren has been given more of a say about who is signed than his predecessor Alan Pardew, but Moyes is likely to want the final say on transfers. That may be a stumbling block, but he is interested in taking charge of a club with the financial muscle to be challenging for European football every year, not fighting to stay out of the Championship.
Charnley, who was responsible for appointing McClaren last summer, even though he had just been sacked by Derby County after failing to get them promoted from the Championship, has tried to protect the 54-year-old.
But it seems that protection will run out following talks with Ashley and his right hand man, PR guru Keith Bishop, who has become an increasingly influential figure at St James’ Park in the last few months.
Charnley job is not thought to be under threat at this stage, although he will have to explain to Ashley at the end of the season why the team has struggled so badly.