Steve McClaren has been sacked as Newcastle manager, with Rafa Benitez set to take over 4 years ago

Steve McClaren has been sacked as Newcastle manager, with Rafa Benitez set to take over

It was a long time in coming.

Steve McClaren has been sacked as the manager of Newcastle United.

The former England coach has endured a largely disastrous spell since taking over at St. James' Park last summer and the final straw came with Newcastle's 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth last weekend.

Newcastle's Managing Director Lee Charnley has released this statement in relation to the news:

"I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United.

"He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.

"Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United.

"He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.

"We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the Club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future.

"A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course."

There is widespread speculation that Rafa Benitez has already been offered a three-year deal to take over at Newcastle.

The former Liverpool boss is currently a free agent after his short reign as Real Madrid manager ended earlier this season.