Newcastle United look set to turn attention towards Eddie Howe after Unai Emery snubbed the chance to take the reins at St. James' Park.
The former Arsenal manager topped the new consortium's managerial shortlist having axed Steve Bruce after his 1000th game in management.
But Emery has rejected the chance to manage the Premier League strugglers with a statement on Twitter highlighting his "100 per cent" commitment to Villarreal.
Now it seems the Saudi-led owners will have to opt for their second-choice target with former-Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe next-in-line for the Tyneside vacancy.
But a report from the Sun suggests there are some Newcastle chiefs that have 'reservations' about appointing the 43-year-old.
It states that while Emery was universally backed by the entire consortium – Amanda Staveley, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and the Reuben brothers – there remain concerns regarding Howe.
After holding talks with the ex-Cherries boss over the weekend, Howe was unable to fully convince them he's the right man for the job.
The scepticism stems from his final season in charge at Bournemouth when the south coast side were relegated from the Premier League, losing nine of their final 13 matches.
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The board are under no illusion that the Magpies face a tough test to remain in the top-flight despite being able to guarantee a January war chest for the winter transfer window.
Newcastle are still winless in all competitions this season, sitting 19th in the Premier League table and six points from safety.
It's crucial the next appointment is the correct one.
Relegation would inevitably set plans for a Tyneside revolution back at least two years, with promotion and then subsequent survival necessary to lay the foundations for future success.
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Time is of the essence for the new consortium – there were hopes a new manager would be in the frame for the trip to Brighton on Saturday but that now seems unlikely.
Graeme Jones will remain in temporary charge until a permanent appointment is made.
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