The latest news from St James' Park: including the new boss and a former fan favourite.
Indeed, McClaren says the Magpies were interested in appointing him as Alan Pardew's successor, although the coach himself wanted to 'finish the job' at Derby.
In the event, Derby sacked McClaren at the end of the season when he failed to achieve promotion to the Premier League with the Midlands outfit.
The 54-year-old told the Mirror: "There was interest in January. Was I interested? Of course.
"This was always one club I wanted to be a part of. I’ve always been interested, because I know what a great city it is to be in. But timing is everything in football. I had only been at Derby just over a year. They were very good to me.
"I didn’t want to leave halfway through when we were achieving at the top of the league. So I didn’t turn Newcastle down, I decided to stay loyal to Derby and wanted to finish the job at Derby."
Of course, how things panned out at Derby, McClaren may well have been better off taking over at St James' Park in January. But at least he can always say he stuck by the Rams while they ultimately had enough of him.
The fan favourite was hugely influential during his time at the Magpies and popular opinion would seem to suggest the Frenchman would be welcomed back on Tyneside with open arms.
The 29-year-old, however, is thought not to be on Newcastle's summer shortlist.