On this day in 2015, Patrick Vieira emerged as a surprise candidate for the Newcastle United vacancy. John Carver was in temporary charge of the Magpies but had his contract terminated at the end of the season and the Guardian reported that Vieira was one of three names on United’s shortlist.
Steve McClaren remained the favourite, however, and was excited at the possibility of succeeding Carver. He had a lot of support in the North-East too, but nothing was confirmed at the time. And although managing director Lee Charnley was scheduled to meet Vieira for talks, many believe the Vieira rumours were floated to push McClaren into committing.
The 60-year-old coach was sacked from Derby County and a free agent. He did eventually get the job and was confirmed as Newcastle’s new manager 10 days after the Vieira rumours. McClaren didn’t last long, however. He was sacked after ninth months with United sitting 19th in the Premier League.
Rafael Benitez would replace the ex-England coach and spent three years at St James’ Park.