Jaap Stam has confirmed that Newcastle approached him this summer before they appointed Steve Bruce as manager.
The former Manchester United hero is currently head coach with Eredivisie side Feyenoord, but the 47-year-old says he was contacted by the Magpies as they looked for a replacement for Rafa Benitez.
Stam though, who spent two years as manager of Reading, turned down the offer from Newcastle because he had only just signed the deal to manage Feyenoord.
“Newcastle United called me a few days after I signed my contract at Feyenoord,” he revealed in an interview with Voetbal International. “So it wasn’t an option straight away. I’m a man of my word.
“It was beautiful and honourable, because people in England apparently know what I stand for as a trainer.”
Stam, 47, had been lined up earlier in the year to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who left at the end of last season after four years with the Rotterdam club, and penned a deal effective from June 1.
However, the claims from Stam have, somewhat predictably been challenged by Newcastle, with the Newcastle Chronicle reporting that “senior club sources have denied the Manchester United legend’s claim and it is understood that the club did not speak to Stam over the managerial role – nor did they have any interest in him”.
Newcastle of course ultimately ended up with former Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce, who resigned at Hillsborough on July 15 before being appointed two days later – six weeks after Stam’s employment officially started in Holland.
It’s no surprise that Newcastle officials have refuted Stam’s admission, with the club struggling and desperate to fend off news that Bruce may not have been their top summer target.