Wise Set To Leave For Newcastle Role?

Wise has become the leading contender to become director of football in a European-style management structure, working with Keegan on the recruitment of players and having authority over every aspect of the football side of the club except the first team, according to Daniel King of the Daily Mail.

However, Ken Bates is unlikely to let Wise, a close friend, go without a fight, with the Whites in a good position for promotion from League One despite starting the season with a 15-point deduction.

The Mail states a well-placed source claims Wise is the man Ashley wants, ahead of more experienced coaches like Gerard Houllier.

The job would give Wise massive responsibility and would give Ashley a decent caretaker, or replacement, if Keegan were to make a sudden decision to walk away, as is his want.

The key man in the Wise story is Tony Jimenez, a property dealer and football Mr Fixit who first came to public attention when The Mail On Sunday revealed his crucial role in Tottenham's capture of Juande Ramos.