Newcastle United is still not sure whether to sack Steve McClaren but Rafa Benitez is considered leading the race to become next manager as David Moyes also believed to be a potential successor.
McClaren, however, took training on Tuesday and Wednesday morning but he himself is still in the dark regarding his future as speculation grows even bigger on whether his nine-month spell will come to an end abruptly.
However, McClaren’s scheduled press conference before Newcastle’s match with Leicester on Monday night was cancelled without any reason leading to speculation that his time was nearing an end.
And now Spanish radio station Cadena Cope claim former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Benitez has already signed a three-year deal to succeed McClaren. He would face a tough challenge to rescue Newcastle from relegation with the club in 19th place and hobbling in a three-way survival battle with Sunderland and Norwich.
54-year-old McClaren is under immense pressure following Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League, with the club hierarchy reportedly held talks on Monday without their coach, who is also a board member.
Relegation is a certain threat as the Magpies languishing in the drop zone with 10 matches remaining, but as they get ready for Monday’s trip to Leicester, there is a chance that McClaren will still be in charge till the end of this campaign if managing director Lee Charnley doesn’t find a worthy replacement.
In recent past Newcastle have issued statements when both Alan Pardew and John Carver came under intense scrutiny, but the club hierarchy this time not in a mood to back their current head coach publicly since Saturday.
Large portions of the home fan screamed for McClaren to be sacked during the Bournemouth defeat but the former England manager has vowed to battle on, insisting he is keen to be in charge for the trip to Claudio Ranieri’s table-toppers.
Benitez is out of work following his axe at Real Madrid back in January and may be ready to consider a short-term agreement, similar to his tenure at Chelsea in 2012.
Moyes is another manager now without employment after his dismissal at Real Sociedad last November.
McClaren took training as normal from 8 am on Tuesday and in the afternoon, he stayed behind with backroom staff Ian Cathro, Paul Simpson and Steve Black for meetings before leaving the training ground at 4pm.