Sky Sports reveal Steve Bruce was the sixth one approached by Mike Ashley – The first five named
Sky Sports have reported that they understand Steve Bruce will be named as the new Newcastle United Manager before the weekend.
Reports earlier today said discussions had taken place between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United regarding the level of compensation to be paid.
This followed a meeting Lee Charnley had with Steve Bruce in Manchester on Wednesday to discus personal terms and the job itself.
Sam Allardyce confirmed this (Thursday) morning that he had been offered the job.
However, Sky Sports say that he and Steve Bruce are only the fifth and sixth candidates to be approached to take the NUFC post.
Keith Downie covers Newcastle United for Sky Sports and he says that the first four to be approached to take the job were Steven Gerrard, Patrick Vieira, Roberto Martinez and Mikel Arteta.
However, along with Allardyce, they all knocked back the chance of working for Mike Ashley, it being a case of ‘sixth time lucky’ with Steve Bruce.
Eventually finding somebody desperate enough to take the job under Ashley’s restrictive conditions.
As well as Bruce’s seemingly imminent confirmation in the job, Keith Downie also says that Newcastle United have told him that they could ‘still have a busy transfer window once the new manager is appointed’, this despite today is the 57th day of the transfer window and only 28 days of it remaining.
With player sales, the Sky Sports man says the club have indicated that there is set to be over £100m available to spend.
He does though add that it remains to be seen whether the club would now have times to spend what is available having left everything so late and concedes: ‘We have been here before, where money is promised and then not spent.’
As for a takeover, the Sky Sports reporter states that he has ‘serious reservations’ about the Bin Zayed Group and says he has been told by a number of people that they don’t have enough money to complete the deal.
Who knows how true that is, as previous reports have suggested that finding the money wouldn’t be an issue at the reported £350m price and indeed the BZG have repeatedly insisted that they provided proof of funds three months ago on 17 April 2019.
One thing as usual though, Sky Sports along with most of the rest of the media don’t question whether Mike Ashley is genuine about trying to sell NUFC.
Something which should be very much their first thought when you have somebody claiming they have been trying to sell a football club for 11 years now…
The Sky Sports man covering Newcastle United, Keith Downie, talking about imminent Steve Bruce appointment:
‘I expect the appointment to be announced before the squad fly to China on Saturday.
‘Mike Ashley originally wanted a bigger name.
We know Steven Gerrard, Patrick Vieira, Roberto Martinez, Mikel Arteta and Sam Allardyce were all approached, but they either distanced themselves from the position or were dissuaded from taking it, so Ashley had to work his way down his list.
‘He has always had a good relationship with Bruce and came close to offering him the job in 2015, when he eventually gave it to Steve McClaren instead. Now, he sees Bruce as a safe pair of hands in what is a really troublesome situation.
‘He knows Bruce will work within the structure that exists at Newcastle, which is basically just Ashley, Lee Charnley [managing director] and the manager. He will be willing to work with them and get on with them, which is crucial seeing as Benitez had absolutely no relationship with Ashley and eventually fell out with Charnley as well.
‘Ashley also knows Bruce is desperate for the job.’
‘I have serious reservations about the proposed Bin Zayed Group takeover. It’s my understanding that, despite their claims, they have still not submitted proof of funds. They say they have submitted all of the paperwork, but that’s not what I’m hearing.
‘The word I’m getting from a number of sources is that they don’t have the money to buy the club. I do think their interest is genuine and there have been talks, but I think the reality is that they don’t have the funds to complete the takeover.
‘Having said that, I still believe there are other interested parties at work in the background.’
‘Isaac Hayden still wants to leave and there’s real talk of interest from Manchester United in Sean Longstaff.
‘So the pot could add up to well over £100m, but whether or not it all goes to the new manager, and whether or not they have left enough time to spend it before the transfer deadline passes, remains to be seen. We have been here before, where money is promised and then not spent.
‘The message from Newcastle, though, is that they could still have a busy transfer window once the new manager is appointed.’
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]