Interim Newcastle boss Graeme Jones is likely to remain in charge until the end of the month, and has confirmed that he’s already spoken to the club’s new owners about his long-term future at St James’ Park.
The Magpies’ new owners removed Steve Bruce from his position as manager at the start of the week, ahead of a fresh round of talks with three leading candidates to take over.
90min revealed on Tuesday that Eddie Howe, Lucien Favre and Paulo Fonseca were to undergo follow-ups interviews with the club’s hierarchy about taking charge, while other candidates are still being pushed on the new owners.
One of the names entering the conversation is Frank Lampard, who had earlier made it clear he was not considering the role. But representatives have had conversations to put his case forward, and people close to Belgium manager Roberto Martinez have also made their intentions known – insisting that he would be keen on the role if Newcastle wanted to talk to him.
The club’s owners have been impressed by those they have talked to, but are continuing to do their homework on all prospective candidates; with sources telling 90min that they ‘won’t leave any stone unturned’ to make sure they get the appointment right.
Newcastle will therefore ask Jones to take the reins against Crystal Palace this Saturday, and it’s likely that he’ll be staying in the North East no matter who is appointed – also taking charge of the game against Chelsea on 30 October.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the Palace game, Jones confirmed that he’d had assurances from minority owner Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi about his future, suggesting they have every intention of keeping him at the club for the long-term.
“I spoke to the owners on Wednesday morning and they’ve asked me to take the team for the next two games on an interim basis,” Jones said. “I’m fully focused on preparing the team to be as competitive as we can in both games.
“I’ve had assurances. I’ve spoken to Mehrdad and I’ve spoken to Amanda, and I’ve had assurances on my long-term future. But my short-term process is only on what I can affect – and that’s this game (against Palace) and next Saturday.
“I think it’s important for everybody going forward that I’m at the football club and I can give my genuine, honest, best help I possibly can in order to move the club forward. That’s what I’m going to continue to do in whatever role I’m given, starting at Crystal Palace.”