Yesterday early favourites Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet expressed reservations about the position, and now the former England manager is seen as a willing replacement to Paolo Di Canio.
McClaren has been without a managerial position since resigning from FC Twente in Holland in 2012 although he has worked on Harry Redknapp's coaching team at Queen's Park Rangers since June this year.
Despite public failures as manager of England and Wolfsburg, his successes with Middlesborough and in his first spell at Twente show that he is still regarded highly by Sunderland officials ... if not the Mackems themselves.
One divisive appointment is the role of Roberto De Fanti, Director of Football, with whom Gus Poyet is rumoured to be reluctant to work with.
Both Poyet and Di Matteo would prefer greater autonomy in recruiting new players.
Add to this 14 playing additions signed already by Di Canio and De Fanti and whoever becomes manager is going to inherit a disjointed squad that will quickly need bonding.
It is in these circumstances that McClaren fits the mould.
He is open to the idea of working with a Director of Football, and where Poyet and particularly Di Matteo are hesitant to take the job because of it's high-risk, McClaren is searching for that role within English football again.
It will be an underwhelming appointment for Sunderland fans, I'm sure.
Newcastle United Fixtures
September 25 19:45 League Cup - 3rd Newcastle Utd v Leeds United
September 30 20:00 Premier League Everton v Newcastle United
October 5 15:00 Premier League Cardiff City v Newcastle United
October 19 12:45 Premier League Newcastle United v Liverpool
October 27 13:30 Premier League Sunderland v Newcastle United
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NEWCASTLE UNITED 2013/14
NEWCASTLE 2 (Remy 2) HULL CITY 3
Krul, Debuchy (86' Tiote), Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Cabaye (62' Gouffran), Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Cisse (73' Marveaux), Remy
Subs: Williamson, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
ASTON VILLA 1 NEWCASTLE 2 (Ben Arfra, Gouffran)
Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Anita (74' Tiote), Cabaye (88' Sammy Ameobi), Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Remy (63' Gouffran), Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, S Taylor, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 1 FULHAM 0 (Ben Arfa)
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita 65' (Cabaye), Marveaux 74' (Remy), Shola Ameobi 65' (Gouffran), Cisse
Subs: Gosling, Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Dummett
NEWCASTLE 0 WEST HAM 0
Krul, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Marveaux 66' (Sammy Ameobi), Shola Ameobi, Cisse 72'
Subs: Gosling, Bigirimana, Elliot, Vuckic, Dummett
MAN CITY 4 NEWCASTLE 0
Krul, Debuchy, Coloccini, S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sissoko, Tiote, Gouffran 45+4' (Dummett), Ben Arfa 65' (Sammy Ameobi), Gutierrez 44' (Anita), Cisse
Subs: Elliot, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Obertan
MORECAMBE 0 NEWCASTLE 2 (Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi)
Elliot, Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Good, Dummett, Bigirimana, Gosling, Marveaux 88' (Sissoko), Vuckic 46' (Shola Ameobi), Sammy Ameobi, Gouffran 71' (Ben Arfa)
Subs: Santon, Anita, Alnwick, Streete