Mick Harford to find bargains for Newcastle Utd

RECRUITMENT ROLE ... Mick Harford.
RECRUITMENT ROLE ... Mick Harford.

MICK Harford will be tasked with finding Newcastle United bargains from the lower leagues.

The former Newcastle and Sunderland striker is set to be appointed as assistant to director of football Joe Kinnear.

Harford, 54, will attend games with Kinnear, who is now overseeing the club’s recruitment.

United remain in talks with Lyon over a move for striker Bafetimbi Gomis, and the club are hopeful a deal for the 27-year-old can be finalised this week.

Newcastle have made no comment on the imminent appointment of Harford, who had a brief spell at the club early in his playing career.

SportMail understands Harford – who assisted Kinnear during his managerial career – won’t be involved in coaching, and that along with his scouting role, he will also monitor the progress made by United’s younger players while on loan.

Harford – who was assistant manager at MK Dons last season, and has managed Rotherham United and Luton Town – joined Millwall as a coach last month, a role he is set to walk away from.

The news of Harford’s arrival broke as the club’s fans awaited Newcastle’s first summer signing.

United manager Alan Pardew – whose side lost 3-1 to Portuguese side Rio Ave on Saturday – saw his threadbare striking department further weakened by an injury to Shola Ameobi.

Pardew is already without Papiss Demba Cisse, who is involved in a dispute with the club over wearing a jersey bearing the name of sponsors Wonga and didn’t travel to Portugal for the club’s two-game tour.

“I’m focusing on the team out here, and Joe, (club secretary) Lee Charnley and Graham (Carr) are looking to get someone over the line,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“At the minute, especially if Shola’s missing, and with no Papiss out here, we’re a little bit light for a Premier League team.

“I spoke to Joe on Friday, and he has some important meetings.”

Newcastle, who take on Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira tomorrow night, are the only Premier League club yet to sign a senior player this summer.

Meanwhile, United’s first-team coach Steve Stone will focus more on the club’s younger players this season. Pardew is implementing a number of changes, and Stone will be tasked with helping assimilate Academy graduates into the squad.