Newcastle rule out Kinnear return

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Joe Kinnear will not return to Newcastle as the club's new manager, sources at the club said on Wednesday.

A report claimed the 62-year-old has been asked to take charge at St James' Park for the second time as Mike Ashley struggles to offload the club he put up for sale days after relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship was confirmed.

However, sources at Tyneside have insisted that is not the case and efforts to secure a deal with prospective buyers, who will then appoint their own manager, are ongoing.

Fans' favourite Alan Shearer remains at the end of a telephone line just waiting for a call after making his position on the vacancy clear.

However, Ashley, who held talks with the 38-year-old before deciding to sell the club, has his hands tied with those consortia leading the race to buy him out insisting it is they who will make any appointment.

In the meantime, coach Chris Hughton is acting as caretaker for the third time in less than a year with assistance from Colin Calderwood.

Kinnear arrived on Tyneside last September in the wake of Kevin Keegan's departure, much to the astonishment of the football world, and presided over a difficult period in the club's turbulent recent history.

The Magpies won four of the 20 games for which he was in charge before he succumbed to heart problems once again hours before a 3-2 Barclays Premier League victory at West Brom.

Kinnear needed further surgery, which ruled him out for the rest of the season, and Newcastle won just once more in their final 13 league fixtures, the last eight of them under Shearer.

Despite Wednesday's denial, there is a growing realisation within the Tyneside hierarchy that, if a sale does not go through soon, they will have to do something on the managerial front, and that could only be on a temporary basis.

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West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Newcastle United
Alan Shearer
Kevin Keegan

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