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Oct 9, 2008

Ex-Spurs boss Francis mulls Newcastle offer

Gerry Francis, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers manager, is considering a surprise offer from Joe Kinnear to join the Newcastle United interim manager as part of the St James' park coaching staff.

Although Francis was offered the role last week the 56-year-old admitted he has yet to meet with Kinnear to discuss the offer.

''I have spoken to Joe Kinnear and I have been made an offer,'' Francis told Sky Sports News. ''In the next few days we'll meet and discuss that offer. Newcastle is a tremendous football club and it would be an honour to coach there so it's nice to be asked to do that. I've not had much chance to talk to him (Kinnear). It's a very unusual situation there, that's why we'll be meeting.''

Given that Francis last job was a disappointing six-month spell in charge of Bristol Rovers back in 2001 Kinnear's move for Francis is likely to further bewilder Newcastle fans who have been left frustrated and angry at the handling of their club's fortunes under the regime of want-away owner Mike Ahsley.

The latest twist in the Newcastle rollercoaster came on Thursday when Tony Jimenez, the club's ostentatiously titled Vice-President (Player Recruitment), left the Magpies to ''pursue other interes''.

Francis currently has a part-time coaching role at Newcastle's Premier League rivals Stoke - and admitted he would be reluctant to leave that post.

The 56-year-old, who was in charge at White Hart Lane from 1994 until 1997 and has also managed QPR, Bristol Rovers and Exeter, continued: ''Stoke are a nice team and I'm enjoying that at the moment.

''We are all trying to prove the bookmakers wrong and we're working hard on that so I'm going to look at the offer and decide over the next couple of days. The time factor also comes into it. I don't know how long Joe is going to be there and that's a difficult job.''

Kinnear was installed on a temporary contract after Kevin Keegan left his post as manager due to a disagreement with owner Mike Ashley.

Francis used to play alongside Keegan for England, but Francis insisted that would not affect his decision over whether or not to join the Magpies. ''Kevin is a friend of mine after playing with him and competing with him as manager,'' added Francis.

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