Newcastle United might wait until the end of the season to appoint a new manager, the Premier League club's managing director Lee Charnley said.
Alan Pardew left Newcastle after four years in charge to take the helm at struggling Crystal Palace at the beginning of the year.
Caretaker coach John Carver took temporary charge at St James' Park and has overseen one draw and three defeats in all competitions.
The 50-year-old confirmed he has applied for the job on a permanent basis and urged the club to make a decision on the appointment quickly but Charnley says he is prepared to wait for Pardew's successor.
"Clearly my preference is to try to find someone to bring in now," Charnley told the Newcastle Chronicle newspaper on Tuesday. "However, if I have to wait until the summer for what I believe is the right individual, then I would rather wait.
"We've had about 80 applications of people interested in the role. I hope that by the end of this week I will have a better indication of where we sit.
"I'll know the really, really credible individuals who would be of real interest to us and from there, whether a decision can be made now or whether that decision can wait until the summer."
Newcastle are 11th in the table but have won only one of their previous seven league games.
A delay in appointing a manager has led some pundits to claim the club are doing so to avoid spending money on new players during the January transfer window.
Charnley said the club did not expect to be active during the window anyway and that any new appointment would not have sole control of transfers, taking the role of a head coach rather than overall manager.
"The traditional English manager who would want full control is not what I'm looking for – they don't fit within our structure or strategy," said Charnley.
"This isn't something new but it's a refinement of the role Alan had. He's the head coach, not a traditional manager. He doesn't have the final say on transfers and doesn't get involved in every aspect of the business.
"His job is to coach the players and implement and oversee a philosophy that goes through the first team, the reserves and down through the academy to improve the players and to ensure we get the best out of them."
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