Premier League

Newcastle United need a sporting director: these are the candidates


Jurgen Klopp Signs A Contract Extension and chats with Sporting Director Michael Edwards and Mike Gordon FSG President - Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp Signs A Contract Extension and chats with Sporting Director Michael Edwards and Mike Gordon FSG President – Getty Images

Newcastle’s new owners are searching for a sporting director to lead the technical aspects of a new era for the club and work above whoever is chosen to replace manager Steve Bruce.

It is increasingly common for Premier League clubs to adopt a collegiate approach to transfer decisions, unlike the days when an all-powerful ‘gaffer’ had sole control. Many clubs now work with either a sporting director, technical director or director of football, or even a combination of them.

The idea is to reduce the risk of expensive errors, and ensure some philosophical continuity should results prompt a change of manager or head coach. Telegraph Sport looks at the names who could fit the bill for Newcastle.

Ralf Rangnick

Has forged a reputation as one of the most innovative football brains in Europe and has overseen the construction of impressive teams and overhauled infrastructure at newly wealthy clubs like Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

On the face of things he is precisely the sort of person Newcastle need at the start of their own transformation. He has done this sort of job before as a manager and a director of football, albeit in Germany rather than England.

However, the 63-year-old is currently in a very well paid job at Lokomotiv Moscow and there has not been any contact with Newcastle United at the stage, with well-placed sources playing down the reported interest in bringing him to Tyneside.

Whether that changes remains to be seen but his appointment would be seen as a coup for Newcastle given his star name status and the impact he has had on a number of the continent’s most talked about young coaches.

Ralf Rangnick looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Dinamo Kiev - Getty Images

Ralf Rangnick looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League group E match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Dinamo Kiev – Getty Images

Michael Edwards

Has done a really good job at Liverpool and is widely credited with being, alongside manager Jurgen Klopp, the architect of Liverpool’s Champions League and Premier League winning squads.

Edwards arrived on Merseyside in November 2011 as head of performance and analysis, having worked in a similar capacity for Harry Redknapp at both Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur.

He was promoted to his current role in 2016 and has played a key part in recruitment ever since, which includes deals to sign the likes of Allison Becker, Virgal Van Dyke, Gini Wijnaldum and Mo Salah.

Has all the qualities needed by Newcastle and his CV commands respect. Is currently seeing out the final year of his contract at Anfield but could be persuaded to leave early given he has already informed Liverpool he will be leaving at the end of his current deal.

Frank McParland

It would seem unlikely that McParland is in line for a director of football position but his name has been mentioned for a variety of other important positions to help the new regime at the start of the rebuilding project.

The most likely would appear to be advising the club on recruitment and interestingly he was in Newcastle last week with members of the consortium and sources have indicated he is awaiting a contract offer to be finalised by the new board.

Frank McParland working alongside Liverpool owner John W Henry - Getty Images

Frank McParland working alongside Liverpool owner John W Henry – Getty Images

McParland has vast experience in recruitment and is close to one of Amanda Staveley’s football advisors, Owen Brown. He has previously worked on overseeing recruitment at Liverpool, Watford, Brentford, Burnley and Glasgow Rangers.

Jason Wilcox

Has earned a good reputation at Manchester City where he has been Academy Director for the last four years and was first linked with a new role at Newcastle before news of the takeover emerged. The job under discussion was sporting director and it is understood his name has been discussed without anything concrete being decided.

In keeping with the slightly chaotic nature of things at Newcastle since the takeover, others involved have since distanced themselves from an interest in the former Blackburn Rovers winger, but he should not be dismissed as a potential target.

Discussions between the various consortium members and their advisors are set to continue in the coming days and it has been stressed to Telegraph Sport that nobody should be ruled in or out at this stage.

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