Newcastle United are edging closer to appointing a new manager, and talks have been held with former Arsenal boss Unai Emery, 90min can confirm.
The Magpies officially axed Steve Bruce on 20 October, but the club's new owners have been assessing managerial candidates ever since they assumed control from Mike Ashley.
Assistant manager Graeme Jones - who is set to remain with the club when the new manager comes in - has been in interim charge since Bruce departed, but Newcastle are now ready to make their move for a permanent boss with the club sat second from bottom of the Premier League, still without a win.
Newcastle held formal interviews with Eddie Howe, Lucien Favre and Paulo Fonseca over the past couple of weeks, and were so impressed with the trio that further conversations were held with all parties.
But others have put themselves forward to Newcastle's owners, and talks have also been held with Erik ten Hag, Roberto Martinez and Leonardo Jardim - either directly or through third-party intermediaries.
Unai Emery is the latest name to appear on the club's radar, and 90min can confirm that talks have taken place over succeeding Bruce - even thought the Spaniard remained coy in his press conference ahead of Villarreal's Champions League clash with Young Boys about the prospect of taking over in the North East.
"I don't know anything about Newcastle," Emery responded when asked about the possibility of returning to the Premier League.
90min understands that Newcastle's staff are expecting their new boss to be in place sooner rather than later, and at least by the next international break - which begins after this weekend's clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Sources have confirmed that Newcastle have been reluctant to begin their player search for the January window, but that process has also now got underway.
Head of recruitment Steve Nickson is actively making calls on players that a new manager would want, and it is believed that he is working on set targets - suggesting the club may already have identified who they want to come in.