STEVE BRUCE is expected to be unveiled as Newcastle United’s new manager within the next 48 hours following his decision to quit Sheffield Wednesday, The Yorkshire Post understands.
The Owls have been in talks with the Magpies since the weekend after it became clear the 58-year-old was the man the Premier League club wanted to succeed Rafael Benitez.
No agreement had been reached between the two clubs as of last night, Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri understood to be seeking around £4m in compensation for someone who took charge at Hillsborough in February.
With Bruce’s lieutenants, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, also believed to have tendered their resignation with a view to joining him at St James’ Park, first team coach Lee Bullen took training yesterday.
Wednesday travel to Northampton Town tonight for a friendly and Bullen is again expected to be in temporary charge.
Chansiri is determined to drive a hard bargain with Newcastle, not least because of the timing with the new Championship season just 18 days away.
Despite that, Toon owner Mike Ashley hopes to confirm Bruce in the role by the middle of this week. According to sources in the North East, his first act will be to rubber stamp the capture of Hoffenheim striker Joelinton in a club record £36m deal.
Benitez initially pinpointed the 22-year-old Brazilian as a key summer addition but his departure at the end of last season saw all transfer business at Newcastle put on hold until the Spaniard’s successor was found.
On the surface, the move seems a strange one for the former Hull City chief.
His arrival in S6 had proved hugely popular with supporters who saw in the four-time promotion winner someone finally capable of ending Wednesday’s long absence from the Premier League.
The contrast could not be more marked with the tsunami of negativity that Bruce is likely to walk into at Newcastle, where supporters remain in open revolt against Ashley.
But the lure of the club he supported as a boy seems to have proved too much for someone born less than 20 miles from St James’ Park.
Meanwhile, George Boyd, who played under Bruce at both Hull and Wednesday, has returned to Peterborough United. The 33-year-old has penned a two-year contract following his release by the Owls.