After a number of false starts, it appears that Newcastle United are at last on the verge of making their second ‘signing’ of the summer, in the shape of Ian Cathro.

Sky Sports are reporting that his appointment is imminent as Newcastle assistant manager, joining fellow new signing Steve McClaren at St James Park.

Only 28, Ian Cathro was a name out of the blue when he was first linked with the job on Tuesday.

The search for Steve McClaren’s number two was looking ever more tortuous as Phil Neville, Steve Round and Bolo Zenden were already reported to have turned down Newcastle’s advances. Exactly what approaches were made and how far they went with that trio, I bet if Ian Cathro is confirmed, we will no doubt be told that he was the choice all the way along.

With pre season training beginning in 6 days time let’s hope that details are concluded and a contract signed, so the important work can begin of getting a team out on the pitch who can do the club and fans justice.

Ian Cathro was linked with the Rangers manager’s job after stepping down from his assistant manager role at Valencia only two weeks ago and returned to Scotland, citing ‘family reasons’.

This ended a three year association with Valencia manager Nuno Espírito Santo, who together guided the Spanish club to fourth place in La Liga.

ian cathro

Ian Cathro had an injury-curtailed spell playing youth football and briefly appeared for Forfar and Brechin, but he set up a coaching school while he was still in his teens.

Working for the Scottish FA’s regional coaching set-up, Cathro was then appointed as Santo’s assistant at Rio Ave in Portugal, the pair having met while both were working on their coaching qualifications under the SFA.

At Rio Ave they finished sixth in the league, made it to two cup finals and won European qualification for the first time.

Then in their first season at Valencia, they returned the Spanish club to Champions League football.

When announcing his departure from Valencia earlier this month, Ian Cathro said that it had been a difficult decision but one that he’d taken some time beforehand.

Ian Cathro:

“I would like to thank Nuno Espirito Santo for the opportunity to work with him in the top leagues in Portugal and Spain. It has been a unique and hugely rewarding experience for an ambitious Scottish coach.

“I wish Valencia the success they deserve. I had an amazing time with a great club in a fantastic city. This was a very difficult decision to take and was agreed some time ago.”