Newcastle United have finally moved on from Mike Ashley with their long-awaited £300million takeover done and now some big changes are expected at St James’ Park soon.
A Saudi Arabia-backed consortium, backed by Amanda Stavelely, completed a deal to buy the Premier League club on Thursday.
Newcastle are winless this season with their latest defeat to Wolves dropping them into the relegation zone and it would be a major surprise if the new owners did not replace Steve Bruce.
Bruce has been unpopular on Tyneside ever since his 2019 appointment, even amid more positive results last season.
The former Sunderland boss insisted he will never walk away from Newcastle in response to talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan telling him to quit.
But Bruce may no longer have a choice, and has told The Telegraph he fears he now faces the sack.
A host of names are being talked about as potential replacements for Bruce, with former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre emerging as the favourite with the bookies.
Former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte, a Premier League and Serie A title winner, is also being viewed as a potential contender, as is current Belgium manager Roberto Martinez.
Steven Gerrard, who has done a brilliant job with Rangers in recent years, is among the frontrunners too.
Here’s the list of the top contenders in full, according to BetVictor. Odds correct at time of writing on Monday, October 11.
- Lucien Favre – 2/1
- Antonio Conte – 5/1
- Roberto Martinez – 7/1
- Steven Gerrard – 10/1
- Eddie Howe – 12/1
- Brendan Rodgers – 16/1
- Graham Potter – 14/1
- Alan Shearer – 20/1
- Rafael Benitez – 20/1
- Frank Lampard – 20/1
- Zinedine Zidane – 20/1
- Kevin Keegan – 25/1
- Unai Emery – 25/1
- Paulo Fonseca – 25/1
- Chris Wilder – 25/1
- Graeme Jones – 25/1
- Roberto Mancini – 25/1
- Jose Mourinho – 25/1
While he is a longshot with the bookies, former Manchester City winger Trevor Sinclair believes Italy boss Roberto Mancini would be the perfect manager to guide Newcastle into the new era.
“I think you need a manager who has done this before,” Sinclair told talkSPORT. “And the first name which springs to mind for me is Roberto Mancini.
“But I don’t know whether it’s too soon with his reign with Italy and whether he would walk away from that.
“He’s done it at Man City, you’ve got to bring in big players to set new players, Mancini would be the ideal man to do it, he’s still young enough to do it.
“They would be wise to look at the Man City model and the way they’ve done it, because they’ve been so successful. Take away the Champions League and they’ve won everything.”
Meanwhile, Bruce has said he ‘would not be bitter or angry’ if Newcastle’s new owner decide to replace him.
“I want to continue, I’d like the chance to show the new owners what I can do, but you have to be realistic and they may well want a new manager to launch things for them,” Bruce said.
“New owners normally want a new manager. I’ve been around long enough to understand that.
“That decision is not up to me. I accept that and I will accept what comes my way. I have to wait to have those conversations with people when the time is right.
“If I don’t make it to a 1,000 games against Spurs, you might say that could only happen to me, but I don’t think it would be cruel. It’s just football.”
Bruce added: “This is not about me, I cannot stress that enough.
“I have said from the first day news of this takeover came out in public, that if it is the best thing for the football club, if it takes this magnificent football club forward then I am all for it.
“I am not going to be bitter or angry about anything, whatever happens. Of course there will be sadness if I lose my job, it’s the job I’ve wanted my whole life, certainly since I became a manager and as hard as it’s been, I have been enormously proud to be manager of Newcastle United. That will never change.”