The search for Newcastle’s next manager is under way after the club’s new owners decided to dispense with the services of head coach Steve Bruce.
Just 13 days after completing their takeover and to the surprise of few, Amanda Staveley’s consortium paid up Bruce, who had been in charge at St James’ Park since July 2019, in a move which is likely to please disgruntled fans who had seen the Magpies win none of their first eight games of the Premier League season.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the possible contenders to replace him.
Fonseca was quickly installed as the early favourite with bookmakers to take over from Bruce. The 48-year-old led Shakhtar Donetsk to three titles in Ukraine and led Roma to fifth in Serie A as well as a Europa League semi-final before leaving the Italian capital in May. He held talks with Tottenham over the summer before they eventually broke down but has shown intent to try his hand in the Premier League.
Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth in August 2020 and would be available immediately. He held talks with Celtic over the summer but ultimately rejected the opportunity to take over in Glasgow. Howe turned Bournemouth from a team struggling in the lower reaches of the Football League into a Premier League outfit and in between two successful spells with the Cherries he had a brief spell at Burnley but could not settle and soon returned to the south coast for personal reasons.
One of the highest-profile candidates currently available, former Juventus, Italy and Inter Milan boss Conte has been touted as a leading candidate for the vacancy as a result of the Magpies’ vastly-increased spending power. The Italian, who guided Chelsea to Premier League glory in 2016-17, left Inter in July having led them to their first Serie A title for 11 years amid a row over the funding of his squad.
Rodgers is a manager who appears to be settled where he is having embarked upon his third full season at Leicester. Remarkably, a man who has presided over a ninth and two fifth-placed finishes and won the FA Cup since arriving at the club has found himself under a measure of pressure from some fans after a run of just two wins in eight games in all competitions, although he led them to victory over Manchester United last time out. However, it would take some effort to prise him away from the King Power Stadium.
Current Belgium boss Martinez has been repeatedly linked with a return to club football during his five-year-plus stint on the international stage, with Barcelona having reportedly considered him as a candidate should they part with Ronald Koeman. He has enhanced his reputation since his spells in English football with Swansea, Wigan and Everton and took the Red Devils to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, but only reached the last eight at Euro 2020.
Former Switzerland international Favre quickly emerged as one of the bookmakers’ favourites with his availability – he was sacked by Borussia Dortmund in December and had second thoughts about joining Crystal Palace this summer after initially agreeing a contract – a plus. A man who learned his trade in his native country, he excelled in Germany with Hertha Berlin, Borussia Monchengladbach and, after a spell with French side Nice – where he reportedly enjoyed a fraught relationship with Allan Saint-Maximin – Dortmund.
Former Liverpool and England midfielder Gerrard is another man who has found his name thrust to the fore in recent days. Still learning his trade as a manager, he took over at Rangers in May 2018 and captured the Scottish Premiership title at the end of last season, in the process thwarting arch-rivals Celtic’s bid for a 10th successive league crown.
A former England team-mate of Gerard, Lampard cut his teeth in management at Derby before being handed the reins at Chelsea, where he had enjoyed a distinguished playing career and is the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. Initially operating under a transfer embargo, he promoted a series of academy graduates to the first team and took the Blues to the FA Cup final and into the Champions League in his first season, but was sacked after 18 months with a £200million-plus spending spree having failed to pay the required dividends.