Clarke rejects Newcastle offer

Steve Clarke has turned down a return to Newcastle United.

The Sun says Toon boss Chris Hughton wanted the former Chelsea coach, who worked under Ruud Gullit on Tyneside in 1998, to fill the hole left by Colin Calderwood's move to Hibernian.

But Clarke could not agree personal terms, leaving Hughton without a right-hand man ahead of Sunday's derby with Sunderland.

It is a blow for the Newcastle boss coming just hours after the Toon board insisted they will begin his contract talks in the new year.

Hughton's current deal runs out at the end of the season. A Toon source said: "Chris is our manager and will remain so. The speculation over his future has been unsettling but the club felt they didn't have to respond at first.

"But it got to the point where enough was enough. Talks will start soon."