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Mike Ashley starts hunt for next Newcastle manager

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Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has launched the search for a new manager with Alan Pardew’s departure for Crystal Palace imminent.


The sportswear tycoon and Rangers shareholder, currently on holiday in Barbados, had already put the wheels in motion amid fevered speculation over the identity of the seventh permanent boss to occupy the St James’ Park hot-seat during his seven and a half year reign.


Many of the names thrown up by the rumour mill have already been discounted by sources on Tyneside with current skipper Fabricio Coloccini and former York boss Nigel Worthington at the top of that list, while former Palace manager Tony Pulis and ex-Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood are also understood not to be in the running.


Managing director Lee Charnley is the man conducting the search on Ashley’s behalf, although the club is unlikely to make a snap decision and it is understood Pardew’s assistant John Carver and first-team coach Steve Stone will oversee team affairs for tomorrow’s Premier League fixture against Burnley and the FA Cup third round trip to Leicester two days later.


Carver, who will be without striker Papiss Cisse for three games after he accepted a Football Association violent conduct charge for elbowing Everton defender Seamus Coleman on Sunday, could be considered an outside candidate for the job on a permanent basis, although current Hull manager and fellow Geordie Steve Bruce may have stronger claims.


There has been popular support for the club’s football development manager Peter Beardsley, while St-Etienne boss Christophe Galtier has been linked with the club on several occasions.


However, Ajax manager Frank de Boer has ruled himself out and Ashley’s unwillingness to pay compensation makes a move for Derby’s Steve McClaren, who signed a three-year deal in August, unlikely.


Pardew continues to thrash out personal terms with Palace as the Selhurst Park club search for a replacement for the sacked Neil Warnock.


Newcastle granted Pardew permission to speak to Palace on Monday night after the Eagles agreed a compensation package with the St James’ Park hierarchy. Pardew is expected to double his salary in securing a move back to the club he served as a player between 1987 and 1991.


Both Pulis and Sherwood, meanwhile, have been heavily linked to the vacancy at West Brom as they look to appoint a new head coach after sacking Alan Irvine on Monday night.


The Baggies said in a statement that they “expect to be able to name Irvine’s successor by the weekend” – when they face Gateshead in the FA Cup.


Assistant head coach Rob Kelly, along with Keith Downing, will be in charge of the Baggies for their New Year’s Day trip to West Ham.


Irvine left after just six months in charge, with Albion 16th and a point above the bottom three following Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Stoke. The Scot had vowed to fight for his future after the game, but the Baggies opted to place the 56-year-old on gardening leave.



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