Darren Bent is “convinced” Newcastle United will have made an approach to Aston Villa number two John Terry.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England and Villa striker is in no doubt the Magpies hierarchy will already have made contact with Terry about his interest in succeeding Rafael Benitez.
Newcastle are searching for a new manager after failing to agree new terms with Benitez, whose contract at the club expired at the end of last month.
Asked who could be the next Newcastle manager, Bent told Football Insider: “It’s a tough one because all the young managers are in jobs at the moment. You’re going to find number twos out there, like the John Terry’s or people like that, who are itching at the bit.
“Now John Terry might be looking at this Newcastle job, and I’m pretty much convinced they will have contacted him to say what do you think about this job, but for him I think he’s thinking ‘I’ve never been a coach in the Premier League environment, yeah I’ve played in the Premier League for years and years and years but to be a coach is a different kettle of fish.’
“So he might want to assess it under Dean Smith for a while, and I’m pretty much sure that if Villa have another successful season and they stay in the division and everything goes to plan, then the end of next season someone comes to John Terry, I’m sure Dean Smith will go: ‘You know what? You’ve been a brilliant servant for me, on you go.’
“I think he’ll take a step back and go: ‘Not quite now but maybe next season.’ I’m sure there are going to be other young up-and-coming managers who were looking at it going, ‘okay, that’s an opportunity there’ and give them the chance.”
Terry, 38, ended his glittering playing career last autumn after a one-season finale with Villa in the Championship.
He was subsequently appointed as the assistant manager to Smith in October of last year and his first season as a coach ended in success as the Midlands giants secured promotion to the Premier League.
In other Newcastle United news, Bent has tipped the club to sell one of their prize assets to Aston Villa.