Steve Bruce: Sheffield Wednesday manager confirms talks with Newcastle United over vacancy

Steve Bruce: Currently at Sheffield Wednesday
Steve Bruce: Currently at Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce has confirmed he has held talks with Newcastle about succeeding Rafael Benitez as manager of his hometown club.

Bruce, 58, was quickly installed as the bookmakers favourite to replace Benitez, who departed St James' Park when his contract expired on June 30.

An angry Wednesday fan confronted Bruce on the touchline during his side's 3-1 friendly win against Lincoln at Sincil Bank on Saturday.

After the match Bruce told the Sheffield Star: "Speculation is speculation. It's in the hands of the club.

"For me, at this particular moment, there is nothing really to talk about until the two clubs reach some sort of compromise.

"Look, it has happened so quickly that I have got to take stock of the situation.

"It's in the hands of both clubs and we will see what develops over the next 24 to 48 hours."

Rafa Benitez will leave Newcastle
Rafa Benitez left Newcastle in June

Newcastle want to appoint Bruce as their new manager as soon as possible with the start of the new Premier League season just a month away.

It is understood the two clubs spent Thursday attempting to reach an agreement over compensation with Bruce having indicated he wanted to talk to the club he supported as a boy.

The Magpies are due to depart for the Premier League Asia Trophy in China on Saturday.

News of Bruce's impending arrival has been met with a distinctly mixed response on Tyneside, with fans still angry at Benitez's exit less than impressed at his candidacy and the fact that the club had already been rejected by former boss Sam Allardyce.

Bruce has won promotion to the Premier League on four occasions during a managerial career which has taken him from Sheffield United to Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Wigan, Sunderland, Hull and Aston Villa.

The Owls fan who confronted Bruce at Sincil Bank was booed by his fellow supporters in the away end, who chanted 'Steve Bruce's Barmy Army'.

Bruce replaced Dutchman Jos Luhukay as Owls boss in January, three months after the former had been sacked by Villa.

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