REMI Garde has emerged as a frontrunner for the head coach job at Newcastle United – but John Carver hasn’t given up hope of landing the post.
Garde is understood to be on the shortlist being drawn up by the club.
The 48-year-old Frenchman is out of work, having left Olympique Lyonnais last summer citing “personal reasons”.
A report in France has claimed that Newcastle are set to approach the former Arsenal defender about succeeding Alan Pardew at St James’s Park.
The task of guiding taking over the team, and its large French contingent, could appeal to Garde, now the bookmakers’ favourite.
Derby head coach Steve McClaren and Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, however, have distanced themselves from the vacant post at United.
Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr are drawing up a shortlist for owner Mike Ashley – who has been on holiday in Barbados – to consider.
The club, however, is yet to make an approach to any candidate.
Carver, put in temporary charge after Pardew’s departure, went public with his keenness to become the club’s head coach after Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Leicester City.
The 49-year-old and his players were booed after the final whistle at the King Power Stadium.
Carver, the club’s assistant manager, is also likely to be on the club’s shortlist.
“I’ve been at the club for many years now – almost 25 years as boy and man,” said Carver, who was Sir Bobby Robson’s No2 at Newcastle.
“When an opportunity like this comes around, I’d be mad not to want to be head coach. If ever there’s an opportunity, it’s now.
“If I don’t throw my hat in the ring, I’ll never get that opportunity again I don’t think.
“I know the club throughout – I know what they’re feeling, they’re hurting as I’m hurting now – but we have to move on.”
Asked if he would be “mad” to take the job on, Carver added: “Many people have said I’m mad!
“But absolutely not, what an opportunity. Let’s not forget I’ve gone through that process with Alan over the last few months. He took some abuse.
“And I was part of that, so I took some of it, and it’s actuality hardened me up a bit!
“I’m not going to cower away from it – I’m big enough and strong enough to say ‘yes, I would like this job’.
“I’d love to take them and improve them – and I think I can.
“Listen, everything I’ve ever gone into I want to win. I want to be the best. If I didn’t have confidence in my own ability, I’d just walk away – I wouldn’t throw my hat in the ring.
“I’d just lie down. I’ve got a five-and-a-half-year contract at the club, I’d stay at the club.
“But no, I’m prepared to take that challenge.”
Meanwhile, Pardew’s tenure at Crystal Palace started with a victory.
The club progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 win over Dover Athletic on the Kent coast.
After the game, the 53-year-old – who had been the Premier League’s second-longest serving manager – said he would address the reasons behind his departure from St James’s Park later this week.
Pardew said: “I think we have Press conference on Thursday where I will talk more about that if the Press decide they want to know.”