While the football season is like everything else on hold and as such there are little to no sporting events to excite punters, the race to become the next Newcastle United manager is on, if reports in the media today are to be believed. With the likes of TalkSport this afternoon surmising that bookmakers expect Newcastle United, if and when current owner Mike Ashley sells up, to do away with the services of current manager Steve Bruce.
Apparently if reports from TalkSport are to be believed, Ashley is close to finalising a deal worth £300m, which will see the transfer of ownership of Newcastle to PCP Capital Partners, who are headed up by Amanda Staveley and also have the backing of the Saudi royal family’s Public Investment Fund.
With TalkSport furthering the speculation that former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino in the running to take over at St James Park. Indeed at the start of this season before a ball was kicked in anger, Bruce was enlisted as second favourite of all the Premier League managers to first get the sack. But results up until the season was temporarily put on hold, including a 1-0 home win against Manchester United back in October, kept him in position.
However, former Newcastle United defender Warren Barton, speaking to TalkSport, feels that Newcastle should go all in to appoint Pochettino, should Bruce get the axe, with Barton stating: “With all due respect to Steve, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him, he’s not one of the top-level coaches around the world.”
“He’s always done reasonably well in the Premier League and Championship, but if you want someone to take you to that next level, I think Pochettino would tick all the boxes.”
That said and done, Pochettino is not the favourite to take over the St James Park hotseat, with bookies such as bet365, installing former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitiz as the current odds on favourite at 4/6 on.