Newcastle have reportedly told their players to come in for training at 2pm this afternoon after cancelling this morning’s session. The development has sparked optimism that the Magpies are now closing in on the appointment of their new manager, with Eddie Howe now the clear frontrunner for the job.
Newcastle caretaker boss Graeme Jones is currently preparing the team for this Saturday’s trip to Brighton after Unai Emery decided to reject the club’s approach to prise him away from Villarreal.
The ex-Arsenal boss held talks with the St James’ Park hierarchy last weekend before deciding to stay at El Madrigal following late-night talks with the board after the 2-0 Champions League win over Young Boys on Tuesday.
Emery is said to be concerned that Newcastle’s final two-man shortlist was down to him and Howe, who he believes is a very contrasting coach.
It raised alarms about the club’s approach to their next appointment and what the Newcastle board were actually looking for in their next manager.
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“The frontrunner and man on the scene right now under consideration is the former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe,” he told Sky Sports News.
“Eddie Howe had already held talks with Newcastle over the weekend around about the same time as Unai Emery did, as Emery emerged as the favourite following those talks.
“Of course now, Newcastle need to turn elsewhere and Eddie Howe is someone that has impressed them and has done for some time.
“Interestingly, Howe had actually held talks with the former hierarchy here, pre-takeover when Steve Bruce was struggling towards the start of the season.
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“He’s also held further talks with the new owners as well and he’s currently in pole position to take over here at Newcastle.”
Howe, of course, has plenty of Premier League experience having brought the Cherries up to the top-flight from League Two, keeping them afloat for four seasons before their relegation in 2020.
He previously came close to taking the Celtic job last summer before pulling out of his move to Scotland.
Now he is ready to jump into a new challenge and Newcastle represents an exciting project, permitting he can preserve their Premier League status which is currently under serious threat.