The £300m Saudi deal to takeover Newcastle United looks all-but complete and with fresh news claiming Steve Bruce has nine games to prove himself, we speculate five names the new owners could appoint to be the next Newcastle manager.
Bruce’s appointment may have received some critics but he’s proved to be a shrewd bit of business and that he can cut it at this level. Having already won the same amount of games this season as Rafa Benitez managed last season and having the best record versus the top six out of all non-top six teams, the Geordie boss deserves a lot of credit.
Should the new owners opt to look elsewhere though, we’ve looked at five names they could go for...
Rafa Benitez - 4/6 favourite
Since being appointed Newcastle manager in March 2016, Rafa has won the hearts of the Geordie faithful having stuck with them through relegation, bouncing right back to the Premier League and his ability to get results in difficult circumstances.
He is the odds on favourite with the bookmakers, he's already a fans favourite and with the resources, is proven that he can win trophies. His salary won’t be an issue meaning this could be the most welcome return to Tyneside since Alan Shearer.
Massimiliano Allegri - 5/2
Second in the betting, 52-year-old “Max” Allegri has already mustered over 670 games in management and after claiming 14 trophies in Italy, is one of the most sought after managers currently unemployed. He’s worked his way up the divisions to become the most successful manager in Italian football in the last decade.
His pragmatic style allows his teams to work their way up the field where he unleashes his talented-attacking players to win games. Investment would be needed in the attacking department but if the new owners made the commitment they would be getting a serial winner with the appointment causing shockwaves around Europe.
Mauricio Pochettino - 10/1
Since being controversially sacked by Spurs in November, Pochettino’s reputation is still very much intact with Southampton and Tottenham fans pining for him after watching endless re-runs of Premier League Years during lockdown.
Poch may not have won the silverware but he has the unique ability to build a team, playing quality football capable of mixing it with Europe’s elite. He did with little to no budget...imagine what he could produce with the full backing of Saudi billionaires?
Marco Rose - 40/1
His former Mainz team-mate, Jurgen Klopp, has said he’s “the most hyped [coach] at the moment, who everyone is asking about.” He may be the most unknown on this list but has world class potential. Known for his agile ability to change formations, his sides play quick, attacking football in transitions, supported by a robust defensive unit - a style of play that would get the tongues of Newcastle fans wagging.
He’s managed exciting talent such as Minamino and Haaland at RB Salzburg where he won three trophies and this season he has got Monchengladbach into the Bundesliga title race, only six points behind Bayern. Despite the funding, Newcastle United are not going to be challenging for titles overnight and need a manager to grow with them, this could be a match made in heaven.
Diego Simeone - 50/1
Passion, nouse and experience. Three of many qualities the Argentine gaffer has in his armoury. He’s now been managing for 14 years and has made himself a global household name for his game-changing Atletico Madrid team and animated touchline antics.
This has been his worst start to a La Liga campaign since he arrived and should they exit the Champions League in the next stage, could it be time for change? Would the lure of a £300m war-chest and the challenge of managing in the Premier League arouse Simeone’s ambition?
The Newcastle fans plus Simeone’s passion could shake up the Premier League which begs the question, how audacious are the new owners?