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Report: Newcastle to appoint Shearer as manager

ALAN Shearer has reportedly accepted an offer from former club Newcastle to become its manager until the end of the season in an effort to keep it in England's Premier League.

The former England captain has turned down several approaches in the past to take a coaching role with the team he represented for 10 years, but Sky Sports News and the British Broadcasting Corp. said late yesterday that he agreed to replace Joe Kinnear.

Kinnear was only a temporary appointment in September when he stepped in for Kevin Keegan until the end of the season, but he needed heart surgery in February and the club has slipped back into the relegation zone in his absence.

The 38-year-old Shearer, Newcastle's record signing and all-time leading scorer, was hugely popular with Magpies fans but has worked for the BBC since he retired in 2006 and has no coaching experience.

He has just eight matches left to get the points to keep Newcastle up, starting with the visit of Chelsea on Saturday.

The Magpies are 18th in the 20-team standings. After 30 games they have 29 points, two less than 17th-place Blackburn - another of Shearer's former teams.

Sky said Newcastle would confirm Shearer's appointment today and present him to the media on Thursday. The broadcaster added that Kinnear would become the club's director of football.

The club did not immediately comment upon the reports.

Shearer scored 206 goals in 395 games for Newcastle after joining from Blackburn for a then-world record 15 million pounds in 1996.

The scorer of 30 goals in 63 matches for England, Shearer was so popular with fans and influential at Newcastle that his omission from the first team was reputed to have contributed to the firing of managers Ruud Gullit and Bobby Robson.

Shearer made his name as a bruising striker in the traditional English style, unafraid to compete physically with bigger defenders and able to score from almost anywhere.

He started out at Southampton, scoring a hat trick on his league debut against Arsenal in 1988.

He switched to Blackburn for a British record 3.3 million pounds for the start of the first Premier League season in 1992 and hit 22 goals before a knee injury in December ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Shearer scored 31 Premier League goals the following season and 34 the one after that to lead Blackburn to its first title since 1906.

His form established him as England's No. 1 striker for the 1996 European Championship and he was the tournament's leading scorer with five goals in England's run to the semifinals.

But a much heralded move to his hometown club following the competition failed to yield the trophies he could have won had he accepted a rival offer to join Manchester United.

Newcastle still has not won a major trophy since the 1969 Fairs Cup, the forerunner of Europe's UEFA Cup.


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