Ranieri puts name forward for Newcastle

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The Independent Online

Claudio Ranieri has become the first viable candidate to put his name forward for the vacant managerial post at Newcastle United.

The Italian, who led Chelsea to the Champions' League semi-final in 2004, has been out of work since an unsuccessful spell at Valencia after leaving Stamford Bridge when Jose Mourinho moved in. He has not been approached by the North-east club, but his words may interest the Newcastle chairman, Freddy Shepherd.

"Newcastle is one of the best clubs in England," Ranieri said yesterday. "They are a good, ambitious team and that is very important for me. I am looking for another good job with a club that has ambition."

Newcastle parted company with Graeme Souness earlier this month but have not formally approached a manager to take over, with Glenn Roeder now acting as caretaker manager.

Martin O'Neill is favourite for the full-time post but has kept his counsel regarding his plans for the future while he cares for his ill wife. The Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, has also been linked with the post as have the German Ottmar Hitzfeld, who, like Ranieri, is currently out of work, and Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Portugal coach whose contract expires after the World Cup.

Roeder's assistant, Alan Shearer, confirmed yesterday that he will mark 10 years with his home-town club with a testimonial game against Celtic at St James' Park on 11 May and that he will donate the proceeds - likely to be around £1m - to charities.

The 35-year-old, who broke Jackie Milburn's club record of 200 goals in the 2-0 League victory over Portsmouth earlier this month, said: "I've lived my boyhood dream. I've played in front of the most loyal fans in the world, captained my country, played for the home team I supported as a boy and broken the goalscoring record of an absolute Tyneside legend and now I have my final opportunity to say farewell to the fans who have supported me so well throughout my career.

"I never dreamt that I would break the late, great Jackie Milburn's goalscoring record. It is a great honour and privilege to have a testimonial game at this wonderful club. I hope that by pledging the money from my testimonial game to charity and worthy causes, people less fortunate than myself will also benefit in some way from my career."

"We are delighted that St James' Park will play host to Alan's testimonial game to celebrate his unparalleled career both at club and international level," Shepherd added. "It will be a fantastic night. The atmosphere will match the occasion and Alan will be given the perfect send-off."

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