Alan Pardew has been heavily backed to become the new manager of Crystal Palace.
The Eagles have relieved Neil Warnock of his duties at Selhurst Park and are now in the market for a successor.
Pardew spent time at Selhurst Park during his playing days and is a London native.
He has spent the last four years with Newcastle United, but has not always been well received by the St James’ Park faithful.
The opportunity to head home may appeal to him, with a project in the North East taken as far as possible.
Ex-Magpies defender Steve Howey admits he would be surprised to see that decision taken, but he would also understand if Pardew does choose to take on a new challenge.
He told Sky Sports: “We all know that Alan has, at times, come under major pressure. He has been able to come out of it with good runs of form, but even then the fans haven’t taken to him.
“I would be majorly surprised if he does go but, stupidly, I wouldn’t be surprised. He might think he has taken the side as far as it can go, there have been different things with the owner and he won’t be given a vast amount of money to change the team.
“He has got an affinity with Crystal Palace because he was there as a player and might want a new change. You could understand if he thought about giving that a go.”
Who, though, would Newcastle bring in as his successor, with Mike Ashley expected to have to loosen the purse strings if he is to land a ‘big-name’ boss?
Howey added: “Where do they go for another manager? (Frank) De Boer has been spoken about from Ajax. But if Mike Ashley is going to get someone with a big name, he will demand, before he signs any contract, x amount of money to buy certain players. If he doesn’t get that, he won’t come.”
Newcastle must tread carefully at this stage.
Pardew may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he has overseen positive runs in the past and is now an experienced Premier League coach.
To bring in an untested manager at that level could be a mistake, but it could be that the Magpies are left with little choice if Pardew takes the decision out of their hands and decides to jump ship.