Venables ponders Newcastle offer

Former England boss Terry Venables will decide today whether to become interim manager of troubled Newcastle.

Venables is the latest in the frame to take over since the departure of Kevin Keegan and the decision of owner Mike Ashley to put the club up for sale.



Venables has revealed talks with the St James' Park club began yesterday and that he hoped to give them a decision today.



"I can confirm I met Newcastle representatives today," Venables told The Sun.



"Those talks will continue in the morning when, hopefully, I can give them a final decision."



Venables is understood to have held talks with Newcastle vice-president Tony Jimenez, managing director Derek Llambias and executive director Dennis Wise in London with a view to persuade the 65-year-old to take over control of first team affairs from Chris Hughton.



Venables previously held talks with Newcastle in September 2004 when he was in discussion with then chairman Freddy Shepherd to succeed the sacked Sir Bobby Robson but the job eventually went to Graeme Souness.



Newcastle's 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham in the Carling Cup third round last night was a fourth successive loss for a team also struggling in the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League.



The Magpies' beleaguered supporters voted with their feet as a crowd of just 20,577 - the lowest for a competitive match at St James' Park since the capacity was increased to in excess of 52,000 - turned up to see them lose to Spurs.



That came amid continued speculation about the future ownership of the club with a consortium from Nigeria believed to be the favourites to take over.



The consortium fronted by Chris Nathaniel are set to make a statement by the weekend on the possibility of buying of the Tyneside club.



Nathaniel, chief executive of NVA management, has declared interest in buying out Ashley from a group of entrepreneurs he is liaising with.



Nathaniel's significance in football was recognised by his inclusion in the "Black List" of the 30 of the most influential figures of African or African-Caribbean heritage in English football, which has been supported by Kick It Out.



He was at Westminster yesterday to pick up his award but is still working hard on looking at the possibilities of taking over at St James' Park.



"It is a very serious offer, they are very serious business people and passionate football fans," he said.



"We are still at the early stages. Hopefully in the next 48 hours we will be in a position to make a statement and take the situation further."



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