By Coral Barry

Nigel Pearson has been installed as new bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Newcastle manager.

The odds on the former Leicester boss replacing under-fire Steve McClaren tumbled on Sunday, with one making him the 13/8 favourite ahead of David Moyes.

Football Insider revealed after the embarrassing 3-1 home defeat by Bournemouth on Saturday that the latest Newcastle news is that McClaren is on the verge of the sack.

The Magpies are second from bottom in the league after three successive defeats and there are growing calls from disgruntled fans for owner Mike Ashley to wield the axe.

Pearson has not been in work since his spectacular fall-out with the owners of Leicester last summer.

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The former Southampton and Hull City manager was sacked by the Thai owners despite steering Leicester to Premier League survival at the end of last season.

The Foxes went on an incredible run of six league victories from eight matches to ensure their top-tier status after looking dead and buried in April with just four wins to their name.

Steve McClaren
Axe man: McClaren has refused to step down despite growing calls for his head

But Pearson created controversy last season and, after getting into a heated argument with a fan, calling a journalist an “ostrich” at a press conference and then opposing the sacking of his son over a sex-tape scandal, Pearson was dismissed.

Newcastle must try and begin their own escape from the relegation zone with a visit to league leaders and Pearson’s former club Leicester on 14 March.

The Magpies are a point from safety with Tyneside rivals Sunderland in 17th in the table, as it appears that two of Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland are set to join Aston Villa in the Championship next season.