Next Newcastle United manager: McClaren, Vieira top Mike Ashley’s shortlist?

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One of these days the powers that be at Newcastle United will name the club’s new manager for the 2015-16 Premier League season. With any luck, the new man in charge at St James’ Park will even be a highly respected, career-long manager.

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That is to say, unlike current interim manager John Carver, a career-long assistant who has served in his present role on three different occasions for Newcastle, plus two other temporary stints at other clubs in England (Carver served as the first-team manager of a club on one occasion, at Toronto FC for 13 months in 2008 and 2009).

According to multiple reports in the UK, there are two names heading the wishlist of Newcastle owner Mike Ashely: Steve McClaren and Patrick Vieira.

McClaren was recently fired by Derby Country after failing to qualify for the Championship’s promotion playoffs this season — shortly after turning down the Newcastle job with three weeks remaining in the just-finished season — while Vieira, who ended his illustrious playing career in 2011, has served as manager of Manchester City’s U-21 team the last two years.

On McClaren, Vieira and Newcastle’s managerial search, from the Guardian:

Those in the Newcastle hierarchy championing McClaren’s cause are concerned by Vieira’s inexperience and fear one of English football’s most challenging jobs could prove too big for a first foray into management.

Vieira has reportedly stated in the past that he would be willing to leave his current post, but only for the right job.

Whether or not Newcastle, a club in full-on freefall mode since the departure of Alan Pardew in January, can be considered the “right job” for anyone — let alone a first-time manager — is extremely debatable. Vieira is said to be seeking assurances from Ashley over the autonomy that will accompany the job, something which is very important to the Frenchman, and a rarity for those having worked under Ashley in the past.

If Vieira is true to his ideals, he’ll likely  remove his name from the running at Newcastle in the coming days. With that in mind, it’s looking more and more likely that McClaren will be the new manager after all.