Date: 22nd March 2006 at 1:44pm
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Martin O’Neill is expected to meet the Football Association’s chief executive Brian Barwick this week to discuss succeeding Sven-Göran Eriksson as England coach. But Newcastle can rest assured that England WILL pick and English manager, leaving the way open for a move to Newcastle … should the Irishman want it.

Second favourite for the job -Ottmar Hitzfeld – has also been sounded out about moving to Tyneside.

According to local news reports, it is understood Freddy Shepherd is considering David Moyes as a fall-back option. And sources on Merseyside last night insisted that the Everton manager had emerged as a strong candidate for the United job.

Personally, I do not know ONE Newcastle fan who would be happy with yet another manager from Scouse-land. And this could be another howler from a chairman who knows full well the fans are expecting a major name to be appointed.

The former Celtic manager is understood to have been Shepherd’s first choice ever since he sacked Souness last month and, despite talk of O’Neill having turned down the Newcastle job, he remains the bookmakers’ favourite.