NEWCASTLE United must decide whether the club can wait until the summer to appoint a successor to Alan Pardew.
Managing director Lee Charnley is putting together a shortlist of candidates for the vacant head coach post at St James’s Park.
But a number of the candidates are not available until the end of the campaign.
St Etienne’s Christophe Galtier has already insisted he won’t leave mid-season, while Thomas Tuchel promised his family he would have 12 months out of the game after leaving Mainz last summer.
Derby County head coach Steve McClaren, meanwhile, yesterday said he wanted to “see the job through” at the iPro Stadium after becoming frustrated at the speculation linking him with the job.
McClaren said: “There is nothing in my mind that says I am going anywhere.”
The 53-year-old had been the bookmakers’ favourite to take over at St James’s Park.
It is not clear whether Remi Garde – who left Olympique Lyonnais at the end of last season for “personal reasons” – is ready to return to management.
And Eddie Howe, one of English football’s brighest young coaches, is determined to guide Championship leaders Bournemouth into the Premier League this season.
Former England and Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle has also been linked with the job.
If the preferred candidate of Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr is not available until the end of the season, they will then have to decide if they are prepared to wait until the summer.
John Carver, Pardew’s No 2, was put in temporary charge after Pardew was allowed to speak to Crystal Palace, and the 49-year-old is preparing the team for Saturday’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
And Carver – who himself wants the job – could yet be asked to take over until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, a report in France which claimed Paris Saint-Germain were in “very advanced” discussions with Newcastle over a move for midfielder Moussa Sissoko has been dismissed on Tyneside.
Sissoko, also linked with Arsenal, has arguably been United’s best player so far this season.
And the 25-year-old, signed two years ago from Toulouse, is being watched by a number of clubs.
However, it is thought it would take a bid well in excess of the £20m PSG paid for Yohan Cabaye a year ago for Newcastle to consider selling him in this month’s transfer window.