Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Sam Allardyce says he turned down chance to return as Newcastle manager with Steve Bruce now set for the job

Allardyce previously managed the club from May 2007 to January 2008 but says he politely said 'no' to agent's proposal

Sam Allardyce says his agent was approached by Newcastle representatives regarding the vacant Newcastle United manager's job. Reuters
Sam Allardyce says his agent was approached by Newcastle representatives regarding the vacant Newcastle United manager's job. Reuters

Sam Allardyce claims to have turned down the chance to return to Newcastle United to fill the vacant manager's position.

The former England manager told a UK radio station that club representatives approached his agent about the possibility of replacing Rafael Benitez, who parted ways with the Premier League club last month.

Allardyce spent less than eight months in charge at St James' Park from May 2007 to January 2008 but his style of play was unpopular with fans who longed for the more attacking and cavalier performances witnessed during the reigns of predecessors Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson.

Allardyce, 64, told talkSPORT: "I was very flattered that I was considered but it's that thing ... 'don't go back.'

"It never got to the type of talks people are suggesting but it wasn't for me. I politely said 'no'.

"I never got to talk to Mike [Ashley, owner of the club]. My agent contacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the situation and thanked them very much.

"It's not for me. Maybe if it was the first time around I would have jumped at it. I appreciate the offer but I was surprised, I've not worked for a full season."

A spokesman for the club said they had no comment when contacted by The National on Thursday asking whether an approach had been made to Allardyce.

However, Allardyce's claim is unlikely to go down well with disgruntled Newcastle fans and follows a tumultuous few weeks for the North-east club. Newcastle are currently without a manager following the departure of Benitez at the end of his contract on June 30 and the loss of l​ast season's top scorer Ayoze Perez to Leice​ster City last week.

Earlier this week, the Bin Zayed Group, a Dubai business conglomerate in talks to buy the club, took the bizarre step of releasing a statement through a third party - a radio DJ in Dubai - to tell Newcastle fans it was "working diligently" to acquire the club from owner Mike Ashley for a reported £350 million (Dh1.6 billion).

The group says the relevant documentation has been submitted to the Premier League, which carries out a vetting procedure before approving a change in ownership.

Allardyce, who has been out of work since being sacked by Everton in the summer of 2018, said he rejected Newcastle's overtures so they could quickly move on to other candidates.

"It wasn't something I thought about for too long," he said. "I thought it'd be better to make a quick decision for everyone. We're in pre-season now and they're back in training."

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce is the front-runner for the job with sources close to the club indicating that, bar any last-minute hitches, the 58-year-old Northumberland native will be installed as Benitez's replacement before the weekend.

Updated: July 11, 2019 01:44 PM

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