Venables considers Newcastle role

Terry Venables is contemplating an offer to step into the hot-seat at troubled Newcastle United, who have been managerless since Kevin Keegan's abrupt departure earlier this month. With the club up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, Venables is reported to have been offered the chance to come in as a caretaker manager.

Venables confirmed to The Sun newspaper, for whom he writes a column, that he had been in talks with the St James' hierarchy and said he would make a decision today about whether to get involved.

"I can confirm I met Newcastle representatives," Venables said. "Those talks will continue in the morning when, hopefully, I can give them a final decision."

The former England coach, who also managed Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona, was one of the leading candidates to become Newcastle manager when Bobby Robson was sacked in 2004, although the club's then-owners eventually plumped for Graeme Souness.

He also has experience of working in the north-east of England having helped Middlesbrough avoid relegation in 2002, after being brought in to help Bryan Robson manage the side.

A similar salvage operation is required at Newcastle, who are currently second from bottom of the Premier League and were dumped out of the League Cup on Wednesday night following a 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham. That match was watched by 20,577 people, the club's lowest crowd in 16 years, which will not have helped Ashley's hopes of a quick sale.

Consortiums from China and Nigeria are reported to be considering bids, but there has been no indication that anyone is willing to meet Ashley's asking price of more than £400m.

Venables' last job was as a part-time assistant to former England coach Steve McClaren. That role came to an end when McClaren was sacked in November of last year following England's failure to reach UEFA EURO 2008.

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