Newcastle exit for Steve Bruce - Rangers boss Steven Gerrard among names linked to St James' Park role
The manager oversaw his 1000th game in a defeat to Spurs on Sunday – the first game since the club was sold by Mike Ashley to a Saudi-backed consortium in a £300m deal.
However Bruce’s position had long been under scrutiny and a change was predicted by many on Tyneside earlier than this morning’s announcement, with several potential candidates linked with the role while the former Manchester United defender was still in place.
That speculation will now increase following the 60-year-old’s departure after two years at the helm.
Among those linked to the now vacant post are Eddie Howe, Lucien Favre and Frank Lampard, while Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was also said to be on a three-man shortlist in weekend reports. Odds on the former Liverpool captain moving to Tyneside ‘tumbled’ yesterday after ex-Anfield star Steve McManaman said he would find it “very difficult to turn down”.
But while links have been frequent, Gerrard’s is not the only name to be linked. Former Borussia Dortmund coach Favre’s odds also shortened dramatically with bookmakers, but ex-Roma coach Paulo Fonseca is current favourite for the job. Other names have already distanced themselves from the north-east post, including fellow Italian Antonio Conte, while Gerrard, when asked last week, said he had been keeping an eye on the developments but wouldn’t be drawn into speculation on the position of Bruce “a great character of the game, someone who I’ve got a personal relationship with and the utmost respect for”.
“Sitting in this position I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to be speculating about my job so I certainly won’t be getting involved in any speculation towards his.
“I think it’s interesting what’s happening at Newcastle and if anybody deserves a break it’s the Geordie fans so I’m sure the excitement level is high.
“Anyone with an interest in the game is looking on with interest to see how that develops,” he said.
Bruce had a win record of 28.9 per cent in 97 matches at Newcastle – his hometown club and 10th as a manager.