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Next Newcastle manager: Steve Bruce now odds-on favourite to replace Rafael Benitez

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

Former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is now odds-on with Sky Bet to replace Rafa Benitez as Newcastle manager.

The 59-year-old Sheffield Wednesday boss is understood to be one of a series of potential candidates to have been identified as managing director Lee Charnley looks to fill the gap left by the Spaniard.

The club has been without a manager since Benitez's contract expired on June 30 and a series of big names, including Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Patrick Vieira and Steven Gerrard, have distanced themselves from the vacancy.

Steve Bruce
Steve Bruce: Sheffield Wednesday boss is Newcastle-born, but previously managed the club's north-east rivals Sunderland.

With the squad due to fly out to the Far East on Saturday to take part in the tournament - with Premier League champions Manchester City, Wolves and West Ham - bookmakers' odds on Bruce taking over tumbled dramatically to make him Sky Bet’s new 8/11 favourite.

Bruce last week brushed off speculation linking him with the vacancy at St James' Park.

"Maybe because I'm from Newcastle [is why my name has been mentioned]," he told Radio Sheffield.

"But no, I've been on holiday. I never take any notice of all that sort of speculation or tittle-tattle because the way the newspapers are today, no disrespect, I think there have been 150 managers associated with Newcastle. I would suppose I'm going to be one of them."

Newcastle's search for a new boss has been complicated by the ongoing takeover process with owner Mike Ashley having been engaged in talks with a series of potential buyers, including the Dubai-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for weeks.

However, no deal is yet in place and the fact that Charnley has been instructed to find a manager suggests that the situation is unlikely to change in the short term.

Whoever does accept the task of stepping into Benitez's shoes will face a major task to calm yet more stormy waters on Tyneside following another summer of turmoil.


Next Newcastle manager (via Sky Bet)

Newcastle' St James' Park
Newcastle's St James' Park
  • Steve Bruce – 8/11

Boyhood Magpies fan Bruce, who was linked with the club in 2015, was appointed by the Owls in February four months after parting company with Aston Villa and guided the club to a 12th-place finish in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Corbridge-born former Manchester United defender is a Geordie who has managed arch-rivals Sunderland as well as Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan, Crystal Palace, Birmingham and Hull with varying degrees of success.

  • Mikel Arteta – 7/1
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola (right) with assistant Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (left) has been working with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City

Often linked with managerial vacancies in England's top-two divisions, Mikel Arteta is currently Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City.

Arteta has next to no senior managerial experience, although he did effectively take charge of City's Champions League defeat to Lyon early last season with Guardiola serving a touchline ban.

As a player, Arteta had long spells at both Everton and Arsenal, where he won the FA Cup and the Community Shield with the latter.

He was strongly linked with the Gunners job when Arsene Wenger announced his departure, although Unai Emery was eventually appointed.

Arteta is a name known by all Premier League fans, but it'd be a risk given his inexperience.

  • Jose Mourinho – 8/1
Jose Mourinho: Pictured in the Newcastle dugout in 2015
Jose Mourinho: Pictured in the Newcastle dugout in 2015

The Portuguese is out of work following his sacking by Manchester United last season, but a move would only be likely should a takeover of the club go through.

He has stated that he would like to get back into work this summer and a club like Newcastle could appeal to Mourinho - but, again, unlikely in their current situation.

The 56-year-old worked with Bobby Robson at Barcelona and spoke highly of Newcastle last summer, saying: "I like to go there.

"I like the feeling of going to Mr Robson’s home. I like that feeling. I like the stadium. I like the atmosphere. They are a good, enthusiastic crowd. I like the Geordies."

Mourinho is no stranger to success with two Champions League medals, three Premier League trophies and success in the Europa League among many other domestic cups.

  • Roberto Martinez – 8/1
Roberto Martinez: Wants to see through his contract with Belgium

Currently in charge of Belgium's national team, Martinez has been linked to a number of jobs including Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Contact was reportedly made between Newcastle and the Belgian FA last week, but the former Everton chief is unlikely to move to Tyneside, with The Times claiming he does not intend to leave his current role until at least after the 2020 European Championship.

Best of the rest

  • John Terry – 10/1
  • Chris Wilder – 11/1
  • Sean Dyche – 16/1
  • David Moyes – 18/1

Click here to see the list in full


Odds correct as of 2145 BST on 09/07/19

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Most Read Football

Joelinton1

Ten transfers backed to happen

The transfer window is rapidly coming to a conclusion, with a number of big deals being done by clubs across Europe already.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages2

Paper Talk: Spurs ponder Bale

Tottenham could offer Gareth Bale an exit from Real Madrid, the Harry Kane race hots up and Joelinton to Newcastle is back on.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages
3

Paper Talk: £180m for Pogba

Manchester United have hardened their stance on Paul Pobga - putting a £180m price tag on the midfielder - but only Real Madrid remain interested.

Kieran Trippier4

Trippier seals £21m Atletico move

Kieran Trippier has completed his move from Tottenham to Atletico Madrid, with the England right back passing his medical for his £21m move to Spain.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages5

Paper Talk: Arsenal land Everton

Arsenal are closing in four new faces including £36million Brazil forward Everton. Much more too in a busy Wednesday edition.

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