NEWCASTLE UNITED spent a first day in Dubai training in the rain yesterday while managing director Lee Charnley weighed up whether to make an appointment before the end of the month.

Despite the frustrations of a four match winless run since Alan Pardew decided to uproot to Crystal Palace at the turn of the year, the appointment of a new head coach is not thought to be imminent.

Charnley is said to be relaxed about the situation, with Frenchman Remi Garde still the favourite to land the role after stating “I can’t say anything today” when he was asked about the job on Sunday while he was at the Etihad working for French media.

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If Carver is handed the reins until the end of the season, that would increase suggestions the likes of Derby’s Steve McClaren could be approached. Former Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has seen his odds slashed in the last 48 hours.

Carver called for a decision one way or another following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton at St James’ Park, when he admitted his frustrations at trying to lead a group when there is such uncertainty hanging around.

It is hoped that this week’s trip to Dubai will help the players and staff concentrate on putting the work in on the training ground to recharge without the distractions of what is happening back on Tyneside. Newcastle do not play again until the trip to Hull City on January 31.

By that time it is hoped Charnley will have made progress in Newcastle’s search for a new striker too; particularly if there is a renewed bid from Sven Goran Eriksson to take Papiss Cisse to China.

Shanghai SIPG have made a lucrative offer to take the Senegalese striker, who is on Africa Cup of Nations duty this month, to the Far East, where he would work under the management of ex-England boss Eriksson.

Newcastle are not ruling out selling a player who turns 30 in June and only has 18 months remaining on the contract he signed following a move from Freiburg for £9m three years ago. Cisse would also significantly increase his weekly wage by opting for the switch.

Interestingly there has been interest shown in him from Swansea, although a summer switch has seemed more likely. What could change that, though, is if the Welsh club decide to move on Bafetimbi Gomis before the end of the month.

Gomis has been a long term target of Newcastle because chief scout Graham Carr followed his progress during his time at St Etienne and Lyon before eventually heading for the Premier League last summer.

The French international has made noises that he is unsettled and that has led to his name being mentioned again inside the boardroom at St James’ Park.

Pardew, who went on scouting missions to watch Gomis while he was in charge on Tyneside, has been credited with an interest in taking him to Crystal Palace.

Palace are willing to gamble on paying substantial wages to land the right men to preserve top-flight status.

Pardew has taken Newcastle’s performance analyst Ben Stevens with him to London, although suggestions that he is also interested in Cisse are not thought to carry much weight at this stage.