Venables ponders Magpies offer

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Former England boss Terry Venables will decide on Thursday whether to become interim manager of troubled Newcastle.

Venables held talks with the club on Wednesday and is the latest in the frame to take over since the departure of Kevin Keegan and the decision of owner Mike Ashley to put the club up for sale.

"I can confirm I met Newcastle representatives today (Wednesday)," Venables told The Sun. "Those talks will continue in the morning when, hopefully, I can give them a final decision."

Venables is understood to have held talks with Newcastle vice-president Tony Jimenez, managing director Derek Llambias and executive director Dennis Wise in London with a view to persuade the 65-year-old to take over control of first team affairs from Chris Hughton.

Venables previously held talks with Newcastle in September 2004 when he was in discussion with then chairman Freddy Shepherd to succeed the sacked Sir Bobby Robson but the job eventually went to Graeme Souness.

Newcastle's 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham in the Carling Cup third round on Wednesday was a fourth successive loss for a team also struggling in the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League.

The Magpies' beleaguered supporters voted with their feet as a crowd of just 20,577 - the lowest for a competitive match at St James' Park since the capacity was increased to in excess of 52,000 - turned up to see them lose to Spurs.

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