Alan Pardew has taken his leave of Newcastle as he prepares to take up the reins at Crystal Palace.
The 53-year-old is understood to have returned to the club’s Darsley Park training headquarters on Tuesday to say his goodbyes to his staff and players, although no formal announcement of his departure and impending appointment has yet been made.
His exit will leave Magpies owner Mike Ashley looking for the seventh permanent manager of his seven and a half-year tenure and those fans who had campaigned for Pardew’s removal hoping for a replacement who will provide them with both the football and results they crave.
With Ashley currently on holiday in Barbados, managing director Lee Charnley is currently assessing the club’s options with a very definite job specification in mind, one which will operate within the club’s long-standing policy of comfortably maintaining Barclays Premier League status and financial self-sufficiency.
It will also remain ostensibly a head coach role with chief scout Graham Carr remaining the key figure in the recruitment side of the business.
The Magpies have been inundated with names of potential candidates, but several have already been ruled out.
Sources on Tyneside were quick to dismiss suggestions that skipper Fabricio Coloccini and former York boss Nigel Worthington could be contenders, while Press Association Sport understands that other names to feature prominently among the bookmakers’ favourites – Steve Bruce, Tim Sherwood and Tony Pulis - are unlikely to be included on the final shortlist, and Ajax manager Frank de Boer has already distanced himself from the vacancy.
Peter Beardsley, the club’s football development manager, would attract a degree of popular support and would fulfil Ashley’s desire not to pay compensation, something which would not apply to Derby boss Steve McClaren, who signed a new three-year deal in August.
When asked about speculation linking him with Newcastle after Derby’s 2-0 win over Leeds on Tuesday, McClaren replied: “I think there have been about 10 (managers) linked!
“It’s the speculation season and all we can do is focus on what we are doing. We’ve got big games coming up and a job to do here.”
St-Etienne’s Christophe Galtier was repeatedly linked with the job even before Palace’s approach created a potential vacancy, and Carr’s knowledge of football on the continent could prove another useful source of information.
In the meantime, assistant manager John Carver and first-team coach Steve Stone are expected to be placed in temporary charge of the team, which faces Burnley at St James’ Park in the league on Thursday before Saturday’s FA Cup third round trip to Leicester.
Pardew was due to speak to the media on Tuesday afternoon to preview the clash with the Clarets, but that was put back 24 hours after Palace’s official approach was confirmed, and Carver, who spoke to journalists after Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Everton, is likely to find himself in the hot-seat once again.