Graeme Jones reportedly will use this entire week to prepare the squad for Chelsea. There’ll be no days off with the league leaders coming to St. James’ Park on Saturday.
The lads picked up a good point last weekend at Selhurst Park, though the performance was lacking. We’ll see what Graeme has up his sleeve after a full week of preparation. Though Saturday will be more about improving the performance than picking up an unlikely result.
While Jones handles the squad, the board continues its search to fill two key roles – the next manager and a new director. On Monday, Fabrizio Romano claimed that former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca would take the job but the board was taking a few extra days to make the offer.
A claim emerged last night that the Newcastle hierarchy wanted a Director of Football in place before bringing a manager in. That report, from Ian Murtagh in The Daily Star, claimed that Ajax’s Marc Overmars had held talks for the position but Manchester City Academy Manager Jason Wilcox was the front-runner.
Overmars has excelled since becoming Ajax’s Technical Director in 2011. He could be looking for a new challenge and reportedly would like to bring Ajax boss Erik ten Hag with him should he join Newcastle.
The Chronicle has published some recent comments from ten Hag about the reports linking him to Newcastle. He doesn’t seem interested at all in leaving Ajax saying:
“When I extended my contract with Ajax, I said: ‘I think we have a team that we can develop’.
“We want to annoy the European top teams. We’re on our way, let me put it this way.
“We have to move on. In October, November, and December you win nothing. We must keep the pressure up.”
Unless the 51-year-old is playing coy, he’s likely ruled himself out of the running. Though he hasn’t been considered a top candidate with Fonseca, Lucien Favre, Eddie Howe, and Roberto Martinez, among others, garnering much of the headlines.
German outlet Bild reported on Monday night that the 63-year-old Favre had leaped Fonseca as the front-runner. Sport Witness has written a piece on the claim which states negotiations are in the ‘decisive phase.’ But it relays little more information than that.
Another report from Sport Witness has former AC Milan and Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso keen on the role. The report cites Italian journalist Fabio Santini, who said the following:
“Attention: there is a sensational twist for what concerns Gennaro Gattuso. The coach could land in the Premier League, at Newcastle.
“The Calabrian coach would also accept a fixed-term contract until the end of the current football season.”
Gattuso has been linked with Newcastle in the recent past but there haven’t been any reports we could find linking him under our new owners. This week could be a monumental one with two important hires, or it could another one of speculation. We’ll soon find out.