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Fonseca an emerging candidate to replace Bruce as Newcastle manager

Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is emerging as a potential candidate to replace Steve Bruce as Newcastle manager, following the recent long-awaited takeover of the club.

The turbulent 14-year reign of owner Mike Ashley came to end on Thursday, following the announcement that the Magpies had been bought by a consortium – fronted by businesswoman Amanda Staveley and backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) – in a £300m deal.

 

After a lengthy wait for the takeover to go through due to a number of legal issues and disputes – most notably concerns over the piracy of top-flight games in Saudi Arabia and the issue of whether or not the prospective owners were state-funded – the excitement is now building among Newcastle supporters at the hope of a much brighter future after a soulless last decade or so.

One of the first changes likely to occur under the new regime is replacing current boss Bruce, who has endured a toxic relationship with fans ever since his arrival at St James’ Park back in 2019, with the 60-year-old heavily criticised for a perceived dour style of play and his former employment at rivals, Sunderland.

Despite achieving a 12th place finish last season, the pressure has only continued to build on the former Sunderland boss with his side yet to win so far this term, with Bruce publicly admitting he is expecting to be sacked in the coming days.

According to the Mirror, one emerging candidate to replace him at the helm is former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca, with the 48-year-old one of the names on a shortlist of possible candidates.

The Portuguese coach left his role at the Stadio Olimpico at the end of last season, before going on to be one of many candidates to be heavily linked with taking the Tottenham Hotspur job over the summer, as a replacement for Jose Mourinho – who, ironically, took over from Fonseca in Rome.

Following talks with the north London club, Spurs eventually settled on current boss Nuno Espirito Santo, with technical director Fabio Paratic unconvinced by Fonseca’s attacking style of play and keen for a more ‘conservative’ appointment.

That brand of football is likely to appeal to those on Tyneside, however, with supporters heavily critical of the pragmatic style that has underpinned Bruce’s time in charge.

The report does also suggest that Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is another of the possible candidates for the role, with the current Rangers boss believed to be ‘intrigued’ by the prospect of a return to the Premier League after enjoying success north of the border.

The 41-year-old guided the Scottish giants to a first league title in ten years last season – going unbeaten throughout the entire league campaign – with that triumph ending the long-running dominance of bitter rivals Celtic.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has also been linked with the role, as has former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, though it seems unlikely that the Italian would want to take on such a challenge at this stage.

Read – Five of the most despised ownerships of the Premier League era

See also – Big Sam to Brucey: Rating every Newcastle manager of the Mike Ashley era

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