Steve McClaren insists the possibility of taking over at Newcastle United has never even crossed his mind, as his focus remains on Derby County.
The Magpies agreed to let Alan Pardew quit for Crystal Palace in January, and promoted assistant John Carver to look after first team affairs for the rest of the season. Such as decision has turned out to be nothing short of disastrous, with a 3-0 defeat at Leicester City at the weekend leaving them just two points above the relegation zone with only three matches left to play.
It has been widely reported that following the defeat at the King Power Stadium Newcastle approached McClaren, to see if he would be interested in taking charge with immediate effect. Although by this time the former England coach had finished the season with Derby, it has been claimed that he ruled out such a possibility due in no small terms to the turmoil at St James’ Park.
The Tyneside giants have since released a statement to show their support for Carver, but it is fairly obvious he will not be offered the job beyond the current season. It is thought that the Magpies will then make a firm, and hopefully more attractive proposition, to McClaren, but the 54-year-old insists he will remain with the Rams and look to bounce back from missing out on the playoffs .
“It has never crossed my mind,” he told Sky Sports when asked about the Newcastle job. “I’ve been saying it for months since January – my total focus is on Derby County. There has been a lot of speculation. I reiterate what I said on Saturday after the game and what I said to the board and players on Tuesday – I am 100 per cent committed to finishing the job here.”
McClaren remains second favourite to succeed Carver despite these comments, but the leading contender appears to be David Moyes. The former Everton coach quit England after his disastrous and short-lived spell at Manchester United, and has steered Real Sociedad up the La Liga table in recent months. However, it has been reported that the Spanish side would be willing to let him move on during the summer should a reasonable bid be made to release him from his contract.
Despite his comments, do you think Steve McClaren would be tempted to swap Derby County for Newcastle United if a firm approach was made?