Alan Pardew set for surprise managerial return - and link up with ex-Newcastle United transfer target

The former Magpies boss will inherit a squad containing some familiar names.

Former Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is reportedly close to a return to the dugout with Greek club Aris Thessaloniki.

This year marks the 12th anniversary of Pardew’s appointment at St James Park as he was named as successor to former manager Chris Hughton.

There were highs and lows throughout his just over four-year tenure on Tyneside, with an unexpected fifth placed finish in 2012 seen as the biggest positive of his reign.

However, the departure of several key players, some dismal results and a number of controversial incidents led to his eventual departure to former club Crystal Palace in January 2015.

Pardew discussed the decision in an interview with the Mail earlier this year, saying: “I needed a new challenge and it was the right move.

“I would put that season as a whole on a par with the season when we finished fifth, albeit under different circumstances. Someone said I was the only manager to keep two sides in the Premier League in one season.”

Pardew went on to manage West Bromwich Albion and Dutch side ADO Den Haag following his departure from Selhurst Park before acting as a technical director and manager at Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia.

He has been out of work since leaving CSKA in June after several of his players received racist abuse from their own supporters.

In a statement released on the club website, Pardew said: “The events before and after the match with Botev were not acceptable for me, for my assistant Alex Dyer, or for our players.

“The small group of organised racist fans who tried to sabotage this game are not who I want to lead and represent the team in front of.”

Pardew is now set to resume his managerial career in Greece after reportedly agreeing a deal to take charge of Aris Thessaloniki.

Greek outlet Sport FM have reported the former Magpies boss has agreed a two-year deal and will be joined by his former CSKA assistant manager Alex Dyer.

Pardew will take charge of an Aris squad containing former Watford striker Andre Grey and one-time Newcastle target Gervinho.