Newcastle this weekend moved a step closer to appointing a replacement to Alan Pardew by opening talks with Frenchman Remi Garde.
The former Lyon coach is currently on a year sabbatical after leaving Les Gones last summer, so if he did agree to take the St James’ Park reigns, it’s likely that caretaker boss John Carver will remain at the helm for the rest of the campaign.
Garde, who spent three years playing under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, is top of the shortlist of potential Toon tacticians with, according to the Star on Sunday, a host of foreign coaches under consideration, alongside Derby’s British boss Steve McClaren.
If the 48-year-old takes the reigns though, what can Newcastle expect from him?
In terms of managerial accolades, Garde’s cupboard is a little bare.
A Coupe de France is the only major honour he has to speak of, though sufficient mitigation is presented in the shape of the financial crisis he had to manage when in charge of Lyon.
The cash-strapped Ligue 1 side are still one of the biggest in France despite this, so manning the rudder of a club of a large club like Newcastle and handling the expectation that comes with it shouldn’t phase him.
Similarly, experience of working with strict budgets at Lyon – he spent £6.4m in his first season despite raising over £20m via the sale of prized assets – will see him fare well at Newcastle, whose owner Mike Ashley is notoriously frugal in the transfer market (despite splurging over £25m this summer).
Instead of splashing the cash, Garde took to developing home grown talent at the Stade Gerland.
Striking superstar Alexandre Lacazette is one player who was a huge benefactor of the trust he places in youngsters, as was French international defender Samuel Umtiti.
Junior players such as Paul Dummett, Adam Campbell and Rolando Aarons are on the cusp of becoming fixtures in the Newcastle first-team and the arrival of Garde is sure to benefit their development even further.
Importing from the top division in France has worked marvellously well for the Magpies in recent years and their prospective new manager certainly possesses the credentials to be another hit on Tyneside.