Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Kinnear 'offered Newcastle comeback'

Joe Kinnear today claimed he has been offered a two-year contract by Mike Ashley to resume his role as Newcastle manager.

Kinnear said the offer was put to him two weeks ago but he had told the club's owner he would not be able to return to work for at least three months.

Currently recovering from a heart complaint, he made the startling allegation on BBC Radio Five Live.

Kinnear said: "I have been offered a two-year contract and it is something I am mulling over at the present time.

"I have told Mike I am not going to go back to football for at least another three months and we will look at the situation then.

"I told him I would refuse to go back for pre-season friendlies as I was not up to it for medical reasons.

"I needed to take time out and re-assess the situation and take it from there. But obviously in another three months the picture might be completely different.

"In the meantime if Newcastle feel the need to go and get another manager then so be it."

Newcastle officials were unavailable for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport about Kinnear's claim this afternoon.

Kinnear arrived on Tyneside last September in the wake of Kevin Keegan's departure.

The Magpies won four of the 20 games for which he was in charge before he succumbed to heart problems 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 caretaker boss Alan Shearer.

Shearer remains the favourite for the job with the club's fans, but the former Magpies striker looks set to resume his role as a BBC pundit after failing to be offered a new deal by Ashley, who has been left hamstrung by his as-yet unsuccessful efforts to sell the club.

When asked whether Shearer was Ashley's preferred choice for the manager's post, Kinnear replied: "I am not sure about that. I haven't discussed Alan Shearer at all any time.

"I was definitely offered the job a couple of weeks ago.

"I sat down and spoke in depth to (club chairman) Derek Llambias and the offer was a two-year contract."

Ashley has been unable to find a buyer for the club since suffering relegation to the Championship on the final day of last season but Kinnear revealed work remains on-going behind the scenes in an effort to reach a deal.

"It is an on-going situation," he said.

"They are trying their hardest to sell it and anyone who has suggested they are buying it have not come up with the goods.

"The first consortium that does Mike will sell but it has got to be at the price he wants."

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