Steve McClaren has admitted that he turned down the Newcastle United job in the immediate aftermath of Alan Pardew leaving in December.
The Derby County boss has said he was offered the post in January but knocked it back.
The revelation has been reported by fan website nufc.com and came during a question and answer session with Derby supporters last night, with Chief Executive Sam Rush also in attendance.
Earlier in the day at his pre-weekend press conference, Steve McClaren had showed his annoyance that he was being asked about the Newcastle yet again.
The Derby boss telling journalists:
“I’ve got a contract here for the next two years after this and I hope to honour that contract but it is football….that might change, who knows.
“I haven’t got a clue if I am a candidate for the Newcastle job, I think there was no secret that there was an interest in December and January and we talked about that (in press conferences) and in the end they didn’t have a manager then.”
“What they did was appoint a manager (John Carver) and that’s what they have got, he is fighting for the job. While somebody is in a job it is a little bit disrespectful…disrespectful to John Carver, to Newcastle, and my focus is purely on Derby.
“This is newspapers and they speculate, at the present moment Newcastle doesn’t interest me, I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking solely of Derby.”
The Derby manager saying to the press that he had a job to get on with and once again referring reporters back to what he said in January. McClaren at that time admitting in press conferences that he was being mentioned in connection with the Newcastle job but careful not to step too far over the line.
Reported claims that he could be heading to Newcastle this summer look to have a bit of credibility, though if true it is a crazy plan from the NUFC end of things with it all seemingly resting on a gamble of Derby not getting promotion through the play-offs.