Sam Rush insists Steve McClaren is not available, after the Derby County head coach was linked with the vacant Newcastle United position.
The Magpies are in the market for a new manager after agreeing to let the unpopular Alan Pardew leave for Crystal Palace, with assistant John Carver currently taking the reins on a caretaker basis. As the Premier League side consider permanent successors for the position, odds comparison website oddschecker.com claim McClaren is second favourite for the role.
Once derided for his disappointed spell in charge of the England national side, the former Manchester United assistant has rebuilt his reputation in recent years. Firstly, he ventured abroad to help FC Twente win their one and only Dutch league title in 2010, although his spell in Germany with Wolfsburg was less successful, as was his initial return to these shores with Nottingham Forest.
He briefly returned to Twente before heading back to England to assist Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers, and in September 2013 became head coach of Derby. He led the Rams to the playoff final last term, ironically losing against the Loftus Road club, and his reputation has continued to grow this term as his side are once more fighting for promotion from the Championship.
Although Frenchman Remi Garde, a former Arsenal midfielder, is favourite to succeed Pardew at Newcastle, there is also believed to be considerable support for McClaren, who began his managerial career by leading Middlesbrough to League Cup glory – their first ever trophy – in 2004. However, the Rams have told the North East giants to look elsewhere for a replacement.
“There is no question whatsoever of Steve McClaren leaving,” chief executive Rush is quoted by BBC Sport. “He is one of the highest-performing managers in English football, so he is going to be linked and admired by others. But we have had no approaches. I’m aware that there is speculation about Steve at the moment but he has completely dismissed it. His future is with us.”
As well as Garde and McClaren, a number of other options have been mooted with the Newcastle job. These include Tim Sherwood, who has been linked with a host of positions since leaving Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season, former FC Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel, and the experienced Dick Advocaat, whilst Sky Sports claim Glenn Hoddle could also be a candidate.
As much as they want to hang on to McClaren, if Newcastle were to make a move, would his departure be inevitable? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.