NEWCASTLE United’s options for the vacant head coach post are narrowing – after a THIRD potential candidate ruled himself out of the running.
Eddie Howe has reiterated his commitment to Championship front-runners Bournemouth, 24 hours after Steve McClaren said he would not leave Derby County.
Saint-Etienne head coach Christophe Galtier had previously committed himself to his French club until at least the summer.
And former Lyon coach Remi Garde is now the odds-on favourite with bookmakers to succeed Alan Pardew, who joined Crystal Palace last week.
Garde left Stade de Gerland last summer for “personal reasons” and is said to be interested in the post.
But ex-Burnley manager Howe, regarded as one of English football’s brightest young managers, does not want to be considered for the job this early in his career.
Howe is focused on taking Bournemouth – who lead the Championship – into the Premier League.
“It’s flattering,” said 37-year-old Howe.
“I am not going to say that you don’t want to be linked with jobs, because I think if you are not linked with jobs you are not winning games – so I’ll take that for winning games.
“But I have no interest in any other jobs bar this one.
“I don’t listen to speculation or what the media say, it’s very much about the day-to-day running of this football club.
“I love doing the job here, and I’m focused on our next game.”
Much could now depend on whether Garde is ready to return to management, though the Magpies are also assessing other potential candidates.
John Carver has been in caretaker charge since Pardew’s departure.
And the 49-year-old will be in the dugout for Saturday’s Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and potentially also next weekend’s home game against Southampton.
Carver is keen to take the job on full-time, but his odds have lengthened after last weekend’s FA Cup defeat to Leicester.