There have been plenty of names linked with the vacant managerial role at St. James' Park following the news of Rafa Benitez's impending departure from Newcastle United, but reports purporting to know the Magpies' managerial shortlist for the position are starting to circulate.
On Monday afternoon Newcastle confirmed Rafa Benitez would leave the club when his contract expires on July 1, much to the fury of the Toon Army.
The Sun, along with a corresponding report from the Telegraph, claim the club have drawn up a shortlist which includes Steven Gerrard, Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta as candidates to take over from the departing Spaniard.
Yet the Sun's report indicate Newcastle are yet to make any contact with any of their targets, with owner/villain Mike Ashley thought to be 'seeking clarity' over the Bin Zayed Group's proposed takeover the club - delays to this process, the Sun theorise, could lead to Ashley hiring a short-term manager, though one wonders which of the aforementioned candidates would accept a role with such uncertainty surrounding the club.
Other names that have been touted for the role include ex-Feyenoord boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst, as well as Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and Burnley's Sean Dyche.
But the Daily Mail indicate Newcastle will have to part ways with £10m to lure Dyche away from Turf Moor, with the Englishman still having three years remaining on his current contract worth £65,000 per week.
Furthermore, 90min understands Dyche does have an interest in the Toon job, but could face competition from Anthony Hudson, who most recently coached the Colorado Rapids of the MLS, with the American having already spoken with executives at the club.
Anthony Hudson. Now I'm sure he's a nice man but his previous employer was the Colorado Rapids, that's an MLS team not a fun park, who sacked him after winning 8 and losing 26 games.— NUFCThreatLevel (@NUFCThreatLevel) June 24, 2019
Has he got a debt as a casino or something?
Lastly, and perhaps most intriguing, we understand that former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose name has been linked with the position in recent weeks, has not yet ruled himself out of contention.
Regardless of who gets the job, reports indicate that they must be willing to accept less control on transfer dealings than Benitez - a key point that is sure to not sit well with fans, given Ashley's unwillingness to spend money on the playing staff.
With so many names flying around it's hard to make sense of just who the frontrunners are for the Newcastle job, but with preseason set to begin next week, the Magpies must assemble a first-team coaching staff quickly.