All yours, Redknapp - Harry is top choice to replace Allardyce as Shearer says 'No'


Last updated at 12:45 10 January 2008

Newcastle will today approach Portsmouth for permission to speak to Harry Redknapp about taking over as manager — after Alan Shearer again snubbed them.

Sam Allardyce admitted he was 'shocked'

after dramatically being sacked yesterday while

Redknapp emerged as the favourite in the

boardroom, where owner Mike Ashley is known

to be a huge admirer of his exciting football style.

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Odds on Redknapp heading to the north-east

crashed from 11-1 to 2-1 in two hours, but he will

be in turmoil as to whether to turn his back on

Portsmouth. ]

Yet he remains one of the Barclays

Premier League's lowest-paid managers despite

recently signing a new four-year deal, while the

prospect of a 'transfer fee' being paid to

Portsmouth will not deter Ashley from

pursuing his man.

One option likely to appeal to Ashley would be

the prospect of Redknapp bringing his son,

Jamie, to work alongside him.

Shearer, holidaying in Barbados, emerged

an obvious and early favourite to

replace Allardyce, but he has let it

be known that he is not ready for a

management role.

Allardyce, 53, was sacked hours

after holding a press conference

to talk about Newcastle's visit to

Manchester United on Saturday.

He appeared oblivious to his fate,

but later departed by 'mutual

consent' following a brief meeting

with Ashley and chairman Chris


He becomes the eighth

Premier League manager to lose

his job since the start of the season

as Newcastle prepare to appoint

their eighth boss in 11 years.

Mort said: 'Mike and I would like to

place on record our thanks for

Sam's efforts and wish him well for

the future.'

He added that a

further announcement on the

managerial position would be

made 'when appropriate'.

Allardyce, who was on a £3million-a-year, three-year contract and

will receive a pay-off thought to be

in the region of £4m, said: 'I'm

disappointed obviously but I'd just

like to wish everybody at

Newcastle all the best for the

future and I hope things go very

well. Yes it was a shock, I didn't

expect it.'

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Alan Shearer

Ashley sat with fans at Stoke last

weekend and appeared in the

dressing room before and after a

difficult FA Cup goalless draw. 'He

did not have the demeanour of a

man about to wield the axe,' said

one player.

Former Newcastle boss Sir Bobby

Robson admitted he was 'stunned'

to hear of Allardyce's exit.

He said: 'Hearing the news was

without doubt a surprise and I am


'That's the eighth Premier

League manager we've lost this

season. The pressure is too much

now. It's rather sad for the game.'

Should Newcastle fail to lure

Redknapp, Blackburn's Mark

Hughes and even Jose Mourinho

may be alternative targets.

First-team coach Nigel Pearson

will take charge for Saturday's

match while Redknapp is

scheduled to be in the north-east as

Portsmouth take on Sunderland.

Redknapp, responding to the speculation, told The News in Portsmouth: "I really do not know anything about this. I have not spoken to anyone from Newcastle.

"When I saw Sam had left my immediate thoughts were that Alan Shearer was a certainty to take over.

"There's nothing in my being linked with the job. I had an offer not so long ago to take over at what I consider a massive club but I didn't go.

"I am happy down on the south coast."