FORMER Newcastle United and Sunderland midfielder Lee Clark has been handed a chance back in football management by Blyth Spartans.

The National League North side have appointed the ex-Birmingham City boss after the departure of Alun Armstrong to Darlington.

Clark, 46, has also had spells in charge of Huddersfield, Blackpool and Bury as well as in Scotland with Kilmarnock.

“I’ve been too long out the game and it’s an opportunity to be at home around my family at a great club with great tradition,” said Clark. “When they contacted me I was honoured.”

Blyth finished sixth in in National League North last season but lost out to Altrincham in the play-offs and Armstrong then went for Darlington where he has taken a number of members of his squad.

Defenders Michael Liddle and David Atkinson and wingers Jarrett Rivers and Jamie Holmes have all joined the Quakers in the last week. Blyth have since lost Sean Reid and Kieran Green to Morpeth Town and York City respectively, while centre-back Nathan Buddle completed a move to Spennymoor Town.

Clark was born in Wallsend and since leaving Bury in 2017 he has tried to get back into the game, and was strongly linked previously with the job at Hartlepool.

He said: “First and foremost, it’s football - I love it, I want to be on the grass.”

Clark’s former club Sunderland have confirmed that Lamine Kone has completed his move to Strasbourg on a permanent basis.

The Ivorian defender spent time on loan at the French club last season and impressed, so Strasbourg have agreed to pay the 1.5m euros fee to land him on a full-time basis.

Kone had three and a half years on the Wearside club’s books after signing from Lorient in January 2016 when Sam Allardyce was in charge.

The cash raised will help Jack Ross’ attempts to improve his squad this summer. Sunderland owner Stewart Donald is currently in talks with Mark Campbell over a change of ownership or investment, with June 19 said to be a day when something could be finalised.