Bruce to take reins at Newcastle

Wed­nes­day lose coach to his home-town club Allardyce claims he was con­sid­ered for the post

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Luke Ed­wards

‘If he gets of­fered the job I think he will jump at the chance. It would be one of his dreams’

Newcastle United are ex­pected to ap­point Steve Bruce as man­ager and are hop­ing he will join up with the team on their pre-sea­son tour of China.

Sources at St James’ Park have in­di­cated to The Daily Tele­graph that, bar­ring last-minute hitches, Bruce will be an­nounced as Rafael Ben­itez’s re­place­ment to­day.

It re­mains to be seen whether Bruce will be able to go on the trip to the Far East be­cause of visa is­sues, but if he can agree per­sonal terms, the club will en­deav­our to en­sure he is able to meet the play­ers for the first time in China next week.

Newcastle, whose in­ter­est in Bruce was re­vealed by The Daily Tele­graph im­me­di­ately after the de­par­ture of Ben­itez was con­firmed a fort­night ago, are dis­cussing com­pen­sa­tion with Sh­effield Wed­nes­day over the re­lease of the former Manch­ester United cap­tain.

But the 58-year-old wants the job and feels he can­not re­sist the lure of the chal­lenge on Ty­ne­side.

A boy­hood Newcastle fan, it is the job his par­ents, who died last year, al­ways wanted Bruce to take, and although he will walk into the eye of a storm, he is ready to accept the crit­i­cism that will fol­low his ap­point­ment.

Newcastle need to move swiftly fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Ben­itez as they have yet to sign a player in this trans­fer win­dow and need a man­ager in place be­fore that process can be­gin.

Bruce’s ar­rival will be seen as an un­der­whelm­ing choice by many sup­port­ers still an­gry at the fail­ure to keep Ben­itez, who de­cided not to sign a con­tract ex­ten­sion in or­der to accept a £12 mil­lion-a-year role in China with Dalian Yi­fang.

The an­i­mos­ity caused by Ben­itez’s exit has cre­ated a toxic at­mos­phere on Ty­ne­side, with a coali­tion of sup­porter groups urg­ing fans to boy­cott the club’s open­ing Premier League game against Ar­se­nal.

Bruce has been warned about what he will face if he takes the job, in­clud­ing the amount of op­po­si­tion from dis­grun­tled sup­port­ers, but has not been de­terred, with those close to the vastly ex­pe­ri­enced man­ager say­ing he nev­er­the­less felt it was an of­fer he could not refuse.

Bruce turned down the Newcastle job twice when he was at Birm­ing­ham City, the sec­ond of those of­fers hav­ing been made be­hind the back of his friend Sir Bobby Robson when he was in charge at St James’ Park.

Newcastle looked at sev­eral other can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Manch­ester City as­sis­tant man­ager Mikel Arteta and Nice coach Patrick Vieira, although Bruce is the only per­son to have been of­fi­cially of­fered the job, de­spite claims from Sam Allardyce that he turned it down.

Allardyce, who was in charge at St James’ Park from 2007 to 2008, told Talksport: “I was very flat­tered that I was con­sid­ered but it’s that thing – don’t go back.

“It never got to the type of talks peo­ple are sug­gest­ing but it wasn’t for me. I po­litely said no.

“I never got to talk to Mike [Ash­ley]. My agent con­tacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the sit­u­a­tion and thanked them very much.

“It’s not for me. Maybe if it was the first time around, I would have jumped at it. I ap­pre­ci­ate the of­fer but I was sur­prised, I’ve not worked for a full sea­son.”

Allardyce be­lieved Bruce would love to be of­fered the po­si­tion, adding: “If he gets of­fered the job I think he’ll jump at the chance. I think it would be one of his dreams to man­age his home-town club.”

Dream op­por­tu­nity: Steve Bruce is ex­pected to join up with the Newcastle squad on their tour to China next week

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