Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has insisted the club will wait until the summer if it has to to get the right replacement for Alan Pardew.
Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr have spent the last 2 weeks or so assessing potential candidates for the vacancy, but there has been a growing feeling on Tyneside that the Magpies could make an interim appointment with several of the names at the top of their list currently in employment and unwilling or unable to move before the close-season.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Charnley, who admitted Pardew's departure had taken the club by surprise, said: "We've got a number of options: clearly my preference is to try and find someone to bring in now.
"However, because it will be a long-term commitment, if I have to wait until the summer for what I believe is the right individual, then I would rather wait than actually take someone now who I think isn't the best fit.
"I'm not going to take someone who is free and available now if we have a better option and options by waiting until the end of the season.
"I know that won't be an entirely popular point of view, but for me that, is the most sensible thing to do. It is about the medium to long term and ensuring we get the 'right one'."
Former Lyon boss Remi Garde, Ajax's Frank de Boer, St Etienne manager Christophe Galtier, Derby's Steve McClaren and ex-Mainz chief Thomas Tuchel are among those to have been linked with the post, with Pardew's former assistant John Carver currently in temporary charge.
Carver, who has indicated his own interest in the job, has been touted as a stop-gap appointment until the end of the current campaign, and he voiced his hope at the weekend that he would be told one way or the other sooner or later, and he appears likely to get his wish.
Charnley said: "I hope that by the end of this week, I will have a better indication of where we sit.
"I'll know the really, really credible individuals who would be of real interest to us and from there, whether a decision can be made now or whether that decision can wait until the summer.
"There's a wide range of options. There are some people who genuinely can't move now, whether that be for personal reasons, contractual or a whole host – they can't come now.
There are some that can, whether they are tied to other clubs, but have a compensation element involved or are out-of-work."
Charnley, who revealed the club had received around 80 applications for the job, confirmed that the new man will be a head coach and while he will have a say on transfers, it will not be the final one.
He also suggested there would be little or no incoming transfer activity this month and while admitting he could never rule out a departure, said he did not "envisage any player we want to retain leaving".
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