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Published: 11:51 | 11/3/16

Newcastle sack McClaren

Rafael Benitez linked with vacancy

Steve McClaren has been sacked as the manager of Newcastle following days of intense speculation.

Newcastle have recorded just seven wins in all competitions under McClaren this season and Saturday's humiliating 3-1 defeat at home to Bournemouth proved to be the final straw for the boards.

Managing director Lee Charnley, chief scout Graham Carr and club ambassador Bob Moncur met on Monday to discuss McClaren's position and after days of procrastination they have finally taken the decision to part company with the head coach.

"After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday the Club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren's employment with the Club will end with immediate effect," a statement from the club read.

"We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise. However we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the Club at heart.

"Lee Charnley said: "I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.

"Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.

"We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the Club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future.

"A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course."

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has been linked with the vacancy and representatives of the Spaniard are expected to meet with the board to finalise a deal ahead of Monday's game against league leaders Leicester.

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