Malaga coach Tapia on Newcastle shortlist

Malaga coach Antonio Tapia is being linked with the manager's job at Newcastle United.

Malaga coach Antonio Tapia is being linked with the manager's job at Newcastle United.

The Sunday Sun says Tapia is the latest name on the Magpies’ radar as they draw up contingency plans for the possibility of Kinnear not returning to St James’s Park after heart surgery.

Although he is itching to be back at the United helm next month, Kinnear’s future is set to be decided by his doctors.

Tapia is this season’s coaching sensation in La Liga, having steered newly-promoted Malaga into Champions League contention.

The Costa del Sol club lie fifth in the table, with 59-year-old Tapia even managing to get the best out of notorious Newcastle flop Albert Luque.

But with his contract due to expire in June, Tapia’s agents — Bahia Internacional — are understood to have been sounded out by representatives of QPR and Newcastle about a possible move to England.

And Tapia admitted: “I rejected an offer during the (January) transfer window, although I am a lover of English football. I am a professional and my commitment was to Malaga. I don’t regret the decision.

“I don’t want to talk too much about my personal situation. I have received a formal contract offer from Malaga and I am studying that.

“Then I will speak with my agents and wait to see what happens.”

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