Alan Shearer has admitted he hopes to manage Newcastle “one day”, and the Magpies could try to lure both him and Gerard Houllier to St James’ Park.
Sources on Tyneside have suggested Houllier’s name is on a short-list of candidates to replace Sam Allardyce, and that he could form a partnership with Geordie hero Shearer.
The 60-year-old, who guided Liverpool to five major trophies during his six years at Anfield, has more than once been heavily linked with the vacant post at St James’ Park in recent years.
He would certainly fit the profile drawn up by the club in the immediate aftermath of Allardyce’s departure last Wednesday evening with his immense experience and proven track record.
However, the city’s evening newspaper, the Evening Chronicle, is reporting that he and 37-year-old Shearer, who has never been too far away from the top of the betting in the last week, would be happy to work together.
The former Magpies and England skipper has found himself touted both as the man to take over in his own right, or in partnership with Kevin Keegan, with both options receiving popular support.
But whether Shearer and Keegan, the man who paid Blackburn £15million for his services back in 1996, would be willing to work together seems uncertain.
But the Houllier-Shearer option is one which was received warmly on Tyneside as the news emerged on Tuesday with the prospect of a combination of a high-class manager and a man long touted as a future saviour meeting approval.
Shearer was diplomatic as he arrived back on Tyneside from his holiday in Barbados.
Asked by Sky Sports News if he wanted the Newcastle job, he replied: “Am I wanting it? One day, hopefully.”
Questioned further about the possibility of him linking up with Keegan, he said: “I haven’t spoken to Kevin for a long time. We will have to see.”
Houllier is currently working as the French Football Federation’s technical director, although FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalette has insisted he would not stand in his way if was offered the chance to take up a job at St James’.
Shearer was not the only significant figure in the Newcastle saga arriving back in the country on Tuesday with owner Mike Ashley due back from a trip to Hong Kong.
However in his absence, chairman Chris Mort has continued to work behind the scenes in the wake of Harry Redknapp’s withdrawal from the race to succeed Allardyce.
Club insiders insist several candidates are under consideration – Blackburn’s Mark Hughes continues to be mentioned – but with a must-win Premier League clash with Bolton to follow Wednesday night’s FA Cup third-round replay against Stoke, time is of the essence.