Rafa Benitez will reportedly finalise details of his Newcastle appointment on Friday after Steve McClaren was on Friday morning sacked by the Premier League strugglers.
Club sources have reportedly told the Daily Mail that the Spaniard was travelling to the North-East on Friday morning and is hoping to be in charge for Monday’s trip to Leicester.
After five days of uncertainty and in explaining the delay in sacking McClaren, the club said in a statement: “After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday the Club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren’s employment with the Club will end with immediate effect.
“We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise. However we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the Club at heart.”
Managing director Lee Charnley added: “I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.
“Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.
“We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the Club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future.
“A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course.”
Benitez was later spotted arriving at Newcastle as the club closed in on his appointment.
— Rob Scanlon (@RobScanlon_TV) March 11, 2016