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Pardew on verge of being appointed new Newcastle boss

Within the next 24 hours it is expected Alan Pardew will be confirmed as the new Newcastle manager. The Magpies are remaining tight-lipped over the identity of their primary target as talks progressed, but it's understood the 49-year-old is the clear front-runner in a small field which has reduced in size since the search for Chris Hughton's replacement began in earnest.

Club owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias are close to concluding a deal and are confident the new man will be in place ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at St James' Park.

Former Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton boss Pardew has been the bookmakers' favourite virtually from the announcement of Hughton's sacking.

He is not the only serious option to have been considered, but with the likes of Alan Curbishley, Martin O'Neill and Martin Jol having slipped in the betting, his odds have shortened by the day.

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