Steve McClaren moved a step closer to assembling his Newcastle coaching staff on Sunday night when Derby announced that Paul Simpson is to leave the club.
The Rams released a statement confirming Simpson's impending departure after two years as first team coach at the iPro Stadium.
Press Association Sport understands that the 48-year-old, who worked under McClaren during his spell in charge at Derby, will be reunited with the former England boss at St James' Park.
The statement said: "Derby County wishes to this evening announce that Paul Simpson will depart from the club's employment from 1st July 2015.
"Simpson took up the position of first team coach in September 2013 following the arrival of Steve McClaren."
Simpson's exit comes as little surprise, with new Derby manager Paul Clement assembling his own staff at a time when McClaren is busily working to put together a new backroom team on Tyneside.
Derby president and chief executive Sam Rush told the club's official website, www.dcfc.co.uk: "Paul Simpson leaves Derby County with our thanks for his contribution to the club, both as a player and also on the coaching staff.
"We wish Paul every success for the future in his coaching career."
McClaren has gradually managed to put together his staff for a new challenge at Newcastle after a lengthy search which saw the club talk to the likes of Phil Neville, Bolo Zenden and Steve Round.
Former Valencia assistant manager Ian Cathro is set to be named as his assistant, while goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman is being lined up for a post at Crystal Palace by former Magpies boss Alan Pardew and potential replacements are being sounded out.
Newcastle are yet to confirm any of the appointments, but are expected to do so in due course.
The first wave of players is due to return for pre-season training on Wednesday with the remainder gradually filtering back afterwards, and they will go to work under a new-look regime with John Carver and Steve Stone having left the club.
However, there are as yet no new faces among the playing staff, with the club's search for reinforcements yet to pay dividends despite a concerted effort to land their top targets in recent weeks.