Magpies set for summer appointment
Newcastle look almost certain to wait until the summer to appoint a permanent successor to Alan Pardew.
Managing director Lee Charnley indicated earlier this week that the club are prepared to wait until the end of the season in order to get the right person for the job.
Press Association Sport understands the men at the very top of their short-list are all either in employment or otherwise unavailable until the end of the current season, and while that could mean a frustrating delay, they are unwilling to settle for a lesser candidate simply because he could start work immediately.
Indeed, there is an acceptance that the fact their major targets are currently out of their grasp is evidence they are doing something right and worth pursuing, and having been encouraged by some of the discussions they have had during the last fortnight or so, the Magpies could be ready to play the long game.
Ajax boss Frank de Boer, who has softened his public stance on the vacancy, has guided his side into second place in the Eredivisie table behind PSV Eindhoven, while St Etienne sit just a point outside the top three in Ligue 1 under Christophe Galtier and Derby manager Steve McClaren is currently masterminding the Rams' bid for promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
In addition, former Lyon boss Remi Garde and ex-Mainz counterpart Thomas Tuchel have both enjoyed a measure of success in the recent past, but are unavailable until the summer.
Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr drew up their list of potential candidates - the club received around 80 formal applications for the job - taking into consideration a specific set of requirements tailored to the model adopted by the Magpies under owner Mike Ashley.
That blueprint was outlined by the managing director this week.
He said: "The traditional English manager who would want full control is not what I'm looking for - they don't fit within our structure or strategy.
"He doesn't have the final say on transfers and doesn't get involved in every aspect of the business. His job is to coach the players and implement and oversee a philosophy that goes through the first team, the reserves and down through the Academy to improve the players and to ensure we get the best out of them."
In the meantime Pardew's former assistant John Carver remains at the helm, and could do so for some time if he is asked to hold the fort until the summer.