Newcastle make approach for Rafa Benitez - Sky sources
By Sky Sports News HQ
Last Updated: 10/03/16 9:19am
Newcastle have made an approach for Rafa Benitez as they consider alternatives to Steve McClaren, according to Sky sources.
Sky Sports News HQ understands that although McClaren remains in charge, the club have made contact with Benitez's representatives about the Spaniard stepping in to try to salvage their season.
Benitez is available after leaving Real Madrid in January, and sources close to him indicate he would have a qualified interest in the vacancy.
McClaren's nine-month tenure as Newcastle head coach looked no closer to being resolved on Wednesday night with the former England boss holding talks with managing director Lee Charnley on the phone in the afternoon.
The pair were due to meet for talks at St James' Park, but the planned face-to-face meeting did not take place.
After four days of silence from the Newcastle hierarchy, it would have been the first time the two had met since Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth which left the club languishing in the bottom three.
A telephone conversation did happen and McClaren is set to take training on Thursday, with further talks expected afterwards.
SSNHQ earlier learned the former Derby manager would not face the media for his weekly pre-match news conference, which had been scheduled for Thursday but was postponed.
McClaren has continued to prepare his side to face Premier League leaders Leicester on Monday Night Football despite intensifying speculation that he is about to lose his job.
The club's directors held a meeting on Monday, conducted without McClaren despite the fact he is also on the board.
Former Chelsea and Liverpool boss Benitez tops a wish-list of managers who the club would like to put in charge should they decide to dispense with McClaren.
Former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes is also understood to be under consideration as a potential successor.
The loss to Bournemouth last weekend increased speculation that McClaren could be relieved of his duties, with the team second from bottom in the Premier League with just 10 games remaining.