Steve McClaren is due back in England on Tuesday after a personal holiday, and speculation is heating up surrounding his potential move into the vacant Newcastle United managerial position.
McClaren, 54, most recently held the position of head coach at Championship side Derby County, before being sacked at the end of May. Newcastle United have been without a permanent manager since Alan Pardew left the club in early 2015 and a miserable caretaker performance from John Carver that saw the club only secure Premier League safety on the final day of the season.
Former captain Rob Lee, who spent 10 years of his career at Newcastle United, urged owner Mike Ashley to wrap up Steve McClaren for the position, saying: “If Steve McClaren is to be Newcastle United’s next coach, I hope it can be the start of getting a more English feel to our club.
“I’m always banging the drum for English players at Newcastle, and while I’m not too sure how much say Steve will have over transfers, hopefully his arrival will signal a move in that direction.”
The former England international, who made over 300 appearances for the Magpies, added: “I’ve always believed Newcastle needed a nucleus of British-based players and it’s sad to see them getting away from that. Everyone thinks I’m anti-foreign players, but I’m genuinely not.”
Whilst Newcastle have been reported to be scouting QPR striker Charlie Austin, they also have scouts surrounding Dutch center back Bruno Martins Indi of Porto. McClaren himself has extensive European experience after two spells at FC Twente and time with VfL Wolfsburg, so that would perhaps not bring the end to Newcastle’s policy of foreign acquisition.
McClaren saw his Derby side lose confidence and form in the final stages of the season before his eventual firing, with promotion looking sure in early 2015 only for Derby to slip out of the playoff positions in the final weeks of the season. McClaren would have to inspire a number of high profile international players such as Tim Krul and Moussa Sissoko that Tyneside is the place where they can achieve success at the highest level.
There has been rife speculation throughout recent months that McClaren will take on the vacancy on Tyneside, and whilst endorsements from former club legends may help his cause, he will still have a very tough task at hand.