Vieira linked to Newcastle job but McClaren remains favourite
Newcastle plan to speak to a series of potential candidates for the vacant post of head coach once again as they attempt to move on swiftly from near-disaster.
Managing director Lee Charnley, as he did following Alan Pardew's departure for Crystal Palace in January, intends to hold informal talks with several men in order to gauge both what they have to offer and whether or not they could work within the prevailing system at St James' Park.
It is understood Patrick Vieira, head of Manchester City's elite development squad, is among a small number of contenders with whom discussions will be held, with the name of long-term target Steve McClaren, now a free agent following his sacking by Derby, also on the list. Former Swansea boss Michael Laudrup too is available after his brief stint in the Middle East, and could be invited to share his thoughts on the position. The Magpies did much of the groundwork towards making an appointment at the turn of the year, but at that point, their preferred candidate was unavailable.
They spoke to McClaren and Remi Garde, among others, at that stage, and the ex-England boss was offered the chance to return to the north-east, where he enjoyed a successful spell with Middlesbrough between 2001 and 2006.