Hughton offered permanent Newcastle job

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The Independent Online

Chris Hughton has confirmed he has been offered the Newcastle manager's job on a permanent basis.

The former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland defender today revealed he will sit down with managing director Derek Llambias after Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship clash with Doncaster to discuss his own situation.

Hughton said: "I am honoured to be offered the job.

"We are still in negotiations, but it is something we hope will get resolved.

"I have always felt that the manager's situation was an issue, but not the most important one. Getting results has been the most important thing.

"Once we have got Scunthorpe and Doncaster out of the way, we will have discussions with Derek Llambias.

"It will involve moving from caretaker to manager on a full-time basis.

"They have indicated to me that they want to turn it from a temporary role to a permanent one."

Hughton was placed in temporary charge of team affairs for the third time on July 1 after owner Mike Ashley's talks with Alan Shearer in the wake of relegation came to nothing.

The Magpies' fine start to the season brought him the Championship Manger of the Month awards for both August and September, although they slipped from the top of the table following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Today's revelation comes as no surprise after days of speculation that Ashley would turn to Hughton if his protracted efforts to sell the club came to nothing.

The sportswear magnate is due to meet Tyneside businessman Barry Moat in the next 48 hours to discuss his takeover bid after challenging him to either come up with the money or bow out of the race.

Moat has been working for months to raise the £80million he believes will persuade Ashley to sell, and to put in place arrangements with bankers Barclays for an overdraft facility.

However, despite the current owner indicating at the weekend that he would take £80million up front, sources close to the deal insist the asking price is still the £100million it has been since the club was put on the market for the second time at the end of May.

Up to five consortia have held advanced discussions with the current regime at St James' Park in recent weeks with things having gathered pace since the outcome of former boss Kevin Keegan's case for constructive dismissal.

However, no-one has yet come up with the hard cash and the fact that Hughton has now been offered the manager's job is further evidence that Ashley is prepared to hang on to the club until the price is right.

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