Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd claims his club are close to deciding on the identity of their new manager.
Former West Ham boss Glenn Roeder remains in charge at St James' Park on a caretaker basis, with Alan Shearer his acting assistant.
But the club are thought to be looking beyond the current staff for their new manager, with the likes of Martin O'Neill and George Graham attracting strong support with bookmakers.
Shepherd told the Sunday Mirror: 'Our aim is to have the new management structure in place before the last ball of the season is kicked.
'We don't want to have uncertainty lingering on through the close season and we want supporters and players to finish the season knowing who will be in charge next August.
'We have taken our time, because this is one of the biggest decisions in the history of this club.
'The top clubs are opening up a huge gap between themselves and others. We need to get the right man to ensure we are one of those leading clubs.
'We have had a host of top names declaring their interest but we have kept them secret. When the time is right - and that isn't too far away - we will name the man to lead us into the future.'