Newcastle United will have a new manager in the dugout for the Tyne-Wear derby after confirming the sacking of Steve McClaren this morning.
The Magpies finally announced McClaren’s departure after days of speculation over his future.
It means Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will come face to face with a new United boss in the Black Cats’ next game at St James’s Park a week on Sunday.
Rafa Benitez has been heavily tipped to replace McClaren.
A Newcastle statement said: “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.
“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.”
Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley added: “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.”
Newcastle sit 19th in the Premier League table, a point and two places behind Sunderland, who are just outside of the relegation zone.
The Magpies play Leicester City on Monday.