David Moyes is the bookies’ favourite and would jump at the chance of managing Newcastle even in their current predicament.
But the former Manchester United and Everton boss, out of work since being sacked by Real Sociedad, wants to be manager and not head coach and has serious reservations about working under the restrictions imposed on McClaren.
For him to agree to come in, the board would effectively have to tear up the current managerial model with a transfer committee of chief scout Graham Carr, Charnley and the head coach.
For similar reasons, former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers would need some persuading though the Irishman is thought to want to wait until the summer before returning to management.
As Starsport revealed yesterday, Harry Redknapp could be approached, particulary if Newcastle were just looking for someone to take over the last ten games of this season.