Eddie Howe watched Newcastle United's Premier League draw at Brighton on Saturday, with the visitors close to appointing the former Bournemouth boss as manager.
He was spotted in the Amex stands with Newcastle's part-owner Amanda Staveley.
Howe, 43, has not been in management since leaving the Cherries following their relegation in July 2020.
BBC Sport understands Jason Tindall will join him at Newcastle when the appointment is confirmed.
Tindall worked as Howe's assistant in two stints at Bournemouth and succeeded him as manager at the club.
He also worked with Howe at Burnley and ended last season on the coaching staff at Sheffield United.
After Saturday's draw at the Seagulls, Newcastle wing-back Matt Ritchie, who played under Howe at Bournemouth, said he would be a great appointment.
"I am not sure if it is confirmed yet or what is happening but for me my time with him was fantastic, I loved every minute," he said.
"We have a young, hungry group here and I am sure he can bring out the best in them if he is appointed.
"What he did at Bournemouth was nothing short of a miracle. I have all the praise in the world for him."
The Magpies have been without a manager since Steve Bruce left by mutual consent two weeks ago.
Newcastle approached Villarreal manager Unai Emery to succeed Bruce, but he turned them down.
Graeme Jones, who has been in caretaker charge of Newcastle since Bruce's departure, is hopeful of remaining a part of the setup at the club once Howe is in place.
"I've not spoken to them," he told BBC Sport when asked about Howe and Tindall being at the Amex.
"I think they will see this performance and realise they inherit a healthy football club. We are all together here. We have had a bad start, every point matters.
"I was assured from minute one that the owners wanted me as part of any management team that comes in. I am delighted. We will have to see what the future holds but hopefully I will still be here."
Howe is familiar with Newcastle players Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Ritchie from his time at Bournemouth, having led the club from League One to the Premier League, where they stayed for five seasons.
He is expected to replace Bruce, who left Newcastle just 13 days after the Saudi Arabia-backed £305m takeover of the club was completed.
Newcastle are second bottom of the table and winless in 11 Premier League games this season.
'Howe understands the Premier League'
Former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer said on BBC Radio 5 live: "The facts are Newcastle have a lot to do stay in the league.
"Howe is a guy who knows the league, who knows what it is like in that position. He understands the Premier League and what a big club Newcastle are and he will come back energised and it is a very wise signing.
"There are going to be mistakes made and the club is in a mess. It is in a better position than a month ago and there is hope there, but there is a lot of work to do and mistakes will be made."
Ex-England striker and BBC Sport pundit Dion Dublin said: "Eddie Howe has good stock in footballing circles.
"He plays good stuff and he coaches very well. The players that play under him seem to enjoy playing for him.
"If they were to get Eddie, I don't think it is a bad thing at all. It would be a very good appointment."
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