Kevin Keegan is returning to Newcastle United as manager, the club have confirmed.
The 56-year-old former Manchester City boss managed the club from 1992 to 1997 and will return to St James’ Park as Sam Allardyce’s successor.
The former England manager transformed a club on the verge of relegation to the old Division 2 (League) to within a whisker of the Premier League title during an eventful five-year reign.
However, Keegan has been out of football since leaving his post as Manchester City boss in 2005. He said at the time that he could not imagine managing again, but the prospect of a return to Newcastle has proved impossible to resist.
He returns to St James Park, having said on Monday: “I’m not ruling myself out or in. It’s a club I love, everyone knows that.”
A brief statement on the club’s official website read: “Kevin Keegan is returning to Newcastle United as manager.”
The appointment of Keegan follows days of speculation in which many high profile managers were linked with the Newcastle vacancy. The names of Gerard Houllier, Didier Deschamps and Mark Hughes were the three most strongly linked to the role following Harry Redknapp’s rejection of the position at the weekend.
Former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer, who had also been linked with the vacancy, said he had not spoken to Keegan about a possible return to St James’ Park, but praised his managerial record during his previous five-year spell.
“He is highly thought of in Newcastle and rightly so because of what he did for the club,” Shearer said.
“Kevin did something special, he’s a special person with special charisma.”