Revealed! The part England head coach Gareth Southgate played in key Newcastle United appointment
Newcastle United received two glowing, international class endorsements in their due diligence as part of the process to appoint Graeme Jones.
Jones was last week brought into the club to aid Steve Bruce and his coaches, as a ‘neutral’ voice, bringing fresh ideas to the training ground.
And the Gazette has learned the United hierarchy received two impressive references from current international bosses.
One was Roberto Martinez, which was to be expected, while England head coach Gareth Southgate also endorsed the appointment of Jones.
Jones played with Martinez at Wigan Athletic, and was then plucked from a job with Hamilton to work with the Spaniard again at Swansea City.
The Geordie was then taken everywhere Martinez went, working as his assistant from south Wales to Wigan, on to Everton and then the World Cup semi-finals with Belgium.
The link with Southgate is much less obvious, but the ex-Middlesbrough manager is understood to be a huge fan of Jones – and had things worked out differently, may well have found himself side-by-side with the now Newcastle tactician in the Wembley dugout.
Southgate and Jones have not yet worked together but did complete their UEFA Pro License course together.
And when England under-21 boss Southgate offered Jones the opportunity to become his No.2, but that advance was knocked back due to 50-year-old’s role alongside Martinez, and Thierry Henry, with the Red Devils.
Last week United paid Bournemouth around £250,000 to land Gateshead-born Jones.
And while Bruce has proven less than emphatic in his praise since Jones’ arrival, it is thought the head coach was involved in conversations throughout the appointment process, along with managing director Lee Charnley.