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new era Steve Bruce set for mega pay-off at Newcastle as new favourite to replace him emerges

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Head coach Steve Bruce knows his time in charge at Newcastle could be drawing to close (Nick Potts/PA)

Head coach Steve Bruce knows his time in charge at Newcastle could be drawing to close (Nick Potts/PA)

Head coach Steve Bruce knows his time in charge at Newcastle could be drawing to close (Nick Potts/PA)

Steve Bruce is expected to be sacked as Newcastle United manager ahead of the club’s first match under their new ownership next weekend.

Newcastle’s owners have also been considering a move for Ralf Rangnick, among a number of candidates, to become the sporting director as they swiftly begin a huge restructuring of the club after the protracted £305 m (€359m) takeover was completed.

At the same time Newcastle are stepping up the search for a chief executive by employing three headhunting firms. Ideally they would have liked to have had the new CEO in place before making other key decisions, but accept that may not be possible. The priority will be to identify Bruce’s replacement. The 60-year-old is expected to be told he is being let go when he holds talks with the new owners.

Bruce and the playing squad who have not been on international duty have had the last three days off and are due back at training today.

The likelihood is that assistant manager Graeme Jones will be in charge for Sunday’s Premier League match at home to Tottenham Hotspur and will remain as caretaker until a permanent appointment is made.

However, it remains to be seen whether Jones will be handed that role as discussions are ongoing among the new owners. The Tottenham game was to be Bruce’s 1,000th as a manager. Instead, he is expecting to be sacked and said as much last week on the day the Saudi-led takeover was confirmed.

He is due a pay-off of just under £8million (€9.4m) on the rolling contract he signed when he was appointed as Newcastle’s head coach in 2019.

When the takeover appeared to be going through last year, the new owners planned to give Bruce time to prove he was the man to take the team forward. However, this season there has been little sign of progress with Newcastle in the bottom three and having not won any of their opening seven league games.

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Financier Amanda Staveley arrives at St James' Park, Newcastle during the week. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Financier Amanda Staveley arrives at St James' Park, Newcastle during the week. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Financier Amanda Staveley arrives at St James' Park, Newcastle during the week. Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire


Amanda Staveley (above), the financier who is heading the takeover and has been respectful of Bruce’s situation, spoke of how the team had underperformed immediately after the deal went through. Importantly Bruce’s popularity among the Newcastle fans has continued to fall and he has become closely associated with the despised Mike Ashley regime.

Gateshead-born Jones, who joined Newcastle in January after leaving his role at Bournemouth, is a former assistant to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and it is known that the Spaniard is keen on a return to club management. Martinez has been linked to Barcelona, where Ronald Koeman’s future remains in doubt.

The final decision on all the key appointments will rest with Newcastle’s new non-executive chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who is also governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund which has acquired an 80pc stake in the club.

Rangnick is one of the names who has been discussed as sporting director in the past and remains in the thinking. The 63-year-old German, who is the head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow, has held a series of coaching and executive positions, most noticeably at RB Leipzig, where he was coach but also helped oversee the expansion of the Red Bull group as director of football.

Rangnick was interviewed for the job of Everton manager before Carlo Ancelotti was appointed in 2019 and was also wanted as England manager by Dan Ashworth when he was the Football Association’s technical director.

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