Derby County are set to confirm the departure of Steve McClaren imminently, potentially clearing the path for the former England boss to join Newcastle United next season.
As reported by John Percy of the Daily Telegraph, the Rams have dismissed the 54-year-old after a poor domestic campaign that saw the club fall out of contention for automatic promotion. They went on to miss out on the playoffs entirely, losing to Reading on the final day.
According to Percy’s piece, Real Madrid coach Paul Clement—who has long been Carlo Ancelotti’s right-hand man—is expected to take the job at iPro Stadium and will be unveiled next week.
Lee Ryder of The Chronicle reported earlier on Thursday that current Newcastle boss John Carver will find out whether he has a long-term future at St James’ Park in the coming days. The Magpies could be relegated from the Premier League on Sunday should results go against them.
As noted by Ryder, the North-East giants got in touch with McClaren after their embarrassing 3-0 loss to Leicester City; at the time, the former Middlesbrough manager was not interested in the post. But after being axed by Derby, it’ll be intriguing to see whether or not his standpoint has changed.
If Newcastle do stay up, McClaren is the kind of man that would steady the ship. While he has been much-derided ever since his failure with England, the former Rams chief is an experienced figure and someone who knows exactly what’s required to thrive in the Premier League, as was evident during his time at Middlesbrough.
But McClaren’s level-headedness could also potentially be a roadblock in Newcastle’s pursuit. After all, the atmosphere around St James’ Park is toxic at the moment, with an unwanted owner and a disillusioned fanbase. It begs the question, what manager worth his salt would walk in to such a volatile landscape?
So it’d be no surprise to see McClaren decided to steer well clear of St James’ Park. He’s done a decent job with Derby, but ultimately came up just short in his bid for Premier League football; as such, you suspect there will be plenty of sides who will be keen to snap up the veteran coach once his departure is finalised.
However, if Newcastle were to offer him a lucrative deal, the chance to take over at such a massive club—regardless of circumstances—and another crack at the Premier League may prove to be too alluring for McClaren to turn down.