Monday, February 13, 2006

Hitzfeld In Toon For Talks?

Ottmar Hitzfeld is reported to be travelling to Tyneside today for talks with Freddy Shepherd about taking over at St James' Park.

The former Bayern Munich boss is said to be ready for a return to football after 18 months on the sidelines and is apparently willing to talk to Shepherd.

Hitzfeld has won the Champions League with both Borussia Dortmund and is a massive favourite with Newcastle fans, who have set up a website campaigning for his appointment.

Shepherd said last week that he was in no rush to make a permanent appointment, with caretaker boss Glenn Roeder leading the Toon to two consecutive victories.

The club could also make a move for former Celtic boss Martin O'Neill, but with the England job up for grabs and the Manchester United hotseat possibly available in the summer, the Ulsterman seems unlikely to opt for the Magpies.

He could command a £2.5million-a-year salary at St James' Park but he is also believed to be high on FA chief executive Brian Barwick's shortlist of candidates to succeed Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Sources close to O'Neill claim the 53-year-old would favour England over Newcastle as he would be able to spend more time with his sick wife Geraldine between international fixtures.

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