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Published: 12:48 | 10/3/16

Benitez linked with Newcastle

There is mounting speculation that Steve McClaren will finally learn his Newcastle fate on Thursday afternoon.

McClaren's future at Newcastle has been under discussion since the club's disappointing 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday with fans calling for the board to act ahead of Monday's Premier League tie with Leicester.

He had been due to speak with managing director Lee Charnley on Wednesday afternoon but the proposed meeting failed to materialise and he reported for training as planned on Thursday.

Reports in the Spanish media claim former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez is in talks to become the new manager, but formal discussions are unlikely to take place until McClaren is dismissed.

The Magpies are currently second from bottom in the Premier League table with ten games remaining and any deal with Benitez could include a release clause in the event of relegation.

Benitez, who managed Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, has been out of work since he was sacked by Real Madrid in January but has made no secret of his desire to manage in the Premier League again.

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