Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley will hold crunch talks with owner Mike Ashley about finding a replacement for outgoing manager Rafael Benitez, according to The Chronicle.
The newspaper claims that the club’s two main powers brokers will meet imminently to prepare a shortlist of candidates to take the place of the Spaniard.
The Magpies announced on Monday that Benitez will be leaving the club when his contract expires sat the end of this week.
Behind-the-scenes figure Steve Nickson looks set to have a big role moving forward whoever the club appoint as its new manager. The head of recruitment is busy drawing up a list of transfer targets and will work alongside the new man.
By all accounts, since the end of the season Newcastle have been committed to securing Benitez on a new contract and haven’t made overtures to any potential replacements for the former Liverpool boss. Now that his departure has been concerned, it leaves the Magpies chiefs in a rather tough spot – one of their own making of course. Now, though, they need to get a move on and identify a list of candidates who could come in and replace Benitez. Due to Ashley’s penny-pinching way of running the Magpies it’s unlikely that the club will come in for anyone who is currently employed. The Sports Direct tycoon won’t be keen on paying compensation to bring in someone like Patrick Vieira at Nice or Lee Bowyer at Charlton Athletic. However, it seems that whoever will arrive as the next manager, they will be subservient to Nickson in terms of recruitment and identifying new players. He is going to have a key role at the club and so it will be interesting to see how that works.