Newcastle United’s managing director Lee Charnley and head of recruitment Steve Nickson flew to Europe recently to speak to managerial targets, according to The Chronicle.
The newspaper claims that the two vital Magpies staff members met with owner Mike Ashley recently and subsequently flew to the continent to speak to the agents of some potential new managers.
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and out of work Dutch boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst are thought to be under consideration for the post left vacant by Rafael Benitez.
Whoever gets the job will be asked to work closely with Messrs Charnley and Nickson, with the latter essentially being given a free hand in the transfer market.
Well, it’s good that Newcastle seem to be getting a move on with their search for a new manager. The Chronicle’s report states that the club refused to be rushed into picking a new manager after Benitez’s acrimonious departure. However, there’s a fine line between not being rushed and not appointing a new boss in time to complete preparations for the new season. Obviously you don’t want to make the wrong choice with Benitez’s successor, particularly given how angry the supporters are at his departure, but you’ve got to get somebody in soon otherwise the club will be hamstrung in the transfer window. Martinez would seem to be an ambitious choice. Indeed, why would he leave Belgium, one of the most gifted international teams in the world, for Ashley’s Newcastle? Van Bronckhorst is out of work which makes him a more convenient appointment, but is he tried and tested enough for this sort of job? Either way, it seems as if the new man will be playing second fiddle to Charnley and Nickson no matter what happens.