Newcastle Draw Up Hugely Ambitious 4-Man Manager Shortlist Ahead of Saudi Takeover

Tom Gott

​Newcastle United's prospective new owners are understood to have drawn up a four-man shortlist of potential replacements for Steve Bruce if their takeover goes through.

Amanda Staveley, the Reuben Brothers and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund are close to finalising a £300m deal to buy the club from current owner Mike Ashley, with just the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test left to complete.

In anticipation of that, Eurosport's Manu Lonjon took to ​Twitter to reveal that the prospective owners have held a meeting to discuss who will be put in charge of the team, and the group have come up with four potential candidates: Rafa Benítez, Mauricio Pochettino, Massimiliano Allegri and Lucien Favre.

Of the group, Pochettino and Allegri would be the 'easiest' appointments as both are still without clubs following their departures from ​Tottenham Hotspur and ​Juventus respectively.

Recruiting either would be seen as a huge coup for ​Newcastle, but there will be many fans who want to see Benítez back at the club.

The Spaniard built up a huge cult following during his time at St James' Park between 2016 and 2019, but walked away from the club last summer after failing to agree a new contract with the Magpies.

Benítez later confirmed that he wanted to stay at Newcastle but felt he could not do so under Ashley, citing a lack of commitment to a long-term project from the owner as his primary issue.

The Spaniard is now in charge of Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro, but fans have long called for him to come back to Tyneside.

Finally, Favre remains in charge at ​Borussia Dortmund but has been under real pressure this season, particularly during the first few months as his side struggled in all competitions. Sport Bild (via ​Get German Football News) even go as far as to suggest that Favre could be sacked if Dortmund don't win the ​Bundesliga title.

Alternative ​reports, however, insist that Bruce will be given time to prove himself at St James', but the new owners could look for a change at the end of the season.

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