Newcastle United are prepared to wait until the end of the season to appoint the right head coach, according to managing director Lee Charnley.
John Carver has been the club's caretaker since 3 January, when Alan Pardew left for Crystal Palace.
"Clearly my preference is to try to find someone to bring in now," Charnley told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"However, if I have to wait until the summer for what I believe is the right individual, then I would rather wait."
Carver, 50, has said he would like the job permanently and has urged the club to make a decision quickly, while the Magpies former chairman Freddy Shepherd believes the current caretaker should be given a chance until the end of the season.
French managers Remi Garde and Christophe Galtier, German Thomas Tuchel and Derby County's former England manager Steve McClaren have been linked with the post.
However, Charnley says he will not be rushed as he seeks the right long-term appointment but added the club will have a clearer indication in the next few days.
"We've had about 80 applications of people interested in the role," said Charnley, in his wide-ranging interview. "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."
Charnley also clarified what he expects from the club's new boss, who will be given the title of head coach.
He says the head coach will be part of a management "triangle" also consisting of chief scout Graham Carr, with his individual focus on coaching the team.
"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. It's a greater clarity for whoever gets the job, in terms of what they do, what their role is and what they can speak to the media about.
"That way everyone - players, supporters, media - are clearer. 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 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."