Kevin Keegan's future as Newcastle United manager remained a mystery on Thursday after the former England handler missed training for the third successive day.
It also emerged that Keegan enjoys what was termed as 100percent support among the players, with according to the Daily Telegraph, England striker Michael Owen leading them.
The 57-year-old Keegan is believed to have made clear his disgust at the club's transfer policy in talks with Newcastle's directors this week and reports on Wednesday claimed the former England coach could walk away from St James' Park.
Newcastle responded later on Wednesday by insisting Keegan was still their manager but they revealed he was discussing the situation with owner Mike Ashley.
“Newcastle United Football Club can confirm that discussions are ongoing between the Board and Kevin Keegan,” a statement on Newcastle's website read.
“Both the Club and Kevin would like to reiterate that Kevin remains as manager. He has not resigned nor has he been sacked, as has been confirmed in respective statements made by Kevin and Newcastle United Football Club.”
The club are believed to have gone against Keegan's wishes by trying to offload both Owen and Joey Barton, the midfielder who served a prison sentence this year for assault and is facing a long suspension from the Football Association for another incident.
Other reports said Keegan – whose future at the club was brought into question when Dennis Wise was surprisingly appointed director of football in January without him knowing – was disgruntled at Newcastle's failure to make any major signings as the transfer window closed on Monday.
The club's only business on deadline day was the 5.7-million-pound signing of Spanish striker Xisco and the loan signing of midfielder Ignacio Gonzalez, although Keegan had reportedly not expressed an interest in either player.
Keegan had placed more emphasis on signing a left back and a midfielder other than Gonzalez.
Keegan's relations with Ashley were also strained in May when the manager said he did not believe Newcastle had the resources to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
Many British newspapers said Keegan was on borrowed time, and that he was merely negotiating his compensation package before walking away.
The Magpies currently lie 11th in the table after a mixed start to the new season. They held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw, beat Bolton 1-0 but lost 3-0 to Arsenal.
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