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Venables turns down Newcastle role

SoccerNews in English Premier League 26 Sep 2008

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Terry Venables rejected the chance Thursday to step into the hotseat at troubled Newcastle, who have been managerless since Kevin Keegan's abrupt departure earlier this month.

With the club up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, Venables was reported to have been offered the chance to come in as a caretaker manager.

Venables confirmed to The Sun newspaper, for whom he writes a column, that he had been in talks with the St James' Park hierarchy.

But the newspaper's website later Thursday said that the 65-year-old had “turned down” Newcastle's plea to become stand-in boss amid uncertainty over the club's future.

Former England, Tottenham and Barcelona boss Venables was one of the leading candidates to become Newcastle manager when Bobby Robson was sacked in 2004, although the club's then-owners eventually plumped for Graeme Souness.

He also has experience of working in the north-east of England having helped Middlesbrough avoid relegation in 2002 after being brought in to help Bryan Robson manage the side.

A similar salvage operation is required at Newcastle, who are currently second from bottom of the Premier League and were dumped out of the League Cup on Wednesday night following a 2-1 defeat at home to Tottenham.

That match was watched by 20,577 people, the club's lowest crowd in 16 years, which will not have helped Ashley's hopes of a quick sale.

Consortiums from China and Nigeria are reported to be considering bids but there has been no indication that anyone is willing to meet Ashley's asking price of more than 400 million pounds.

Venables's last job was as a part-time assistant to former England boss Steve McClaren. That role came to an end when McClaren was sacked in November of last year following England's failure to reach Euro 2008.

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