London:Newcastle United sensationally named 56-year-old Kevin Keegan, the man who previously managed the club between 1992-1997, as their new manager.
Former England manager Keegan, who led the club's early nineties renaissance, is regarded as a messianic figure on Tyneside and his return, although unexpected, will be greeted with glee by many Newcastle fans.
Keegan's appointment is considered a populist move from the club's owner Mike Ashley, who has repeatedly spoken of trying to restore Newcastle's mid-nineties glory days.
Ashley had initially unsuccessfully targeted Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp to replace Sam Allardyce, who was sacked last Wednesday, and it had then seemed as though former Monaco manager Didier Deschamps and ex-Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier were being given serious consideration.
Keegan had left Manchester City in 2005, and it had been thought that he had retired from the game permanently. He even said in October that he had no intention of returning to management as he ran his "Soccer Circus" in Glasgow. But the lure of Newcastle, the club where he ended his playing days with promotion in 1984, evidently proved too strong.
"I'm not ruling myself out or in," Keegan said on Monday. "It's a club I love, everyone knows that."
Keegan's assistant has yet to be named but there has been speculation that former Newcastle legend Alan Shearer could be in the frame.