York City could name Steve Watson as their new manager.

The Gateshead boss has emerged as the new favourite for the role, with York Press saying their sources understand he is in line to take over following Sam Collins’ departure last weekend.

The former Newcastle United, Everton and Aston Villa player took over at the Heed in October 2017, as he became a manager for the first time. The club finished 17th in the Vanarama National League and made the semi-final of the FA Trophy, though much personnel change and wider uncertainty filled the summer at the Tynesiders, with a takeover falling through in June.

The takeover did come in late-July, as Hong Kong-based businessman Dr Ranjan Varghese completed a deal. The Heed announced last month they were currently under a transfer embargo, with operations director Michael Williams saying:

“Being new, foreign based owners of the club, the National League has understandably scrutinized over our spending this season, especially as the budget submitted by the club’s previous owners was the lowest in the league despite the club remaining a full-time outfit.

“While the club’s playing budget is still well below average for the National League, it has surpassed the initial budget submitted in the summer and is very high in comparison to our income.

“Our income is roughly three times less than the league average and is even below average compared to sides in the National League North.

“Because of this, the National League intervened by imposing a transfer embargo on the club which prevents us from increasing our playing budget further by signing additional players at this moment in time.”

If Watson was to leave for York, he would take over at a side currently 16th in the National League North, nine points off the play-offs and nine above relegation. Gateshead, meanwhile, are 8th in the National League, just a point off the play-off places.

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