Steve McClaren to Newcastle: Magpies ready to make fresh move for Derby County manager

Exclusive: The former England boss is on the brink of being sacked by the Championship side after failing to win promotion

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The Independent Football

Newcastle United are ready to make a fresh move for Steve McClaren to take over as permanent head coach once the season finishes.

McClaren is on the brink of being sacked at Derby following a season in which he failed to get the club into the Championship play-offs.

Newcastle twice made overtures to the former England boss to take over at St James' Park in January after Alan Pardew had left the club, and more recently when they lost heavily at Leicester.

Each time the approach was knocked back on the understanding there could be further conversation in the summer, once it was known what division Derby would be playing in.

Their failure to gain automatic promotion, despite making such a good start to the season, and the subsequent finish outside of a top six place has significantly weakened his position at the iPro Stadium - as has the continued speculation about the possibility of a move back to the North East where he managed Middlesbrough. He could be replaced by Real Madrid coach Paul Clement, who was a target for Sunderland.

Newcastle bosses were frustrated when McClaren turned them down the second time as Derby's season had already finished.

However, McClaren retains support inside the Newcastle boardroom. He has developed players from within his own club before and is comfortable working within the structure that Newcastle have set in stone which means he will largely be handed players to work with.

Newcastle's own future remains in huge doubt ahead of Sunday's crunch home clash with West Ham. During a horrendous run under temporary head coach John Carver, Newcastle have lost nine and drawn one of their last 10 games. They face West Ham and Sam Allardyce, the first manager sacked by Mike Ashley, at St James' Park on Sunday, with a two point advantage over Hull, who are at home to Manchester United.

Supporters plan a sit-in protest when the game has finished. Newcastle are in the middle of their third relegation fight inside the last six seasons.