Newcastle United identify 'number one' managerial target as new owners make 'approach' over stunning £42m deal

The Newcastle United takeover is barely 24 hours old – but speculation surrounding potential new arrivals is already pouring in.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 4:09 pm

From the exciting to perhaps crazy rumours – here’s the latest from St James’s Park:

Antonio Conte linked with management job

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is a candidate to replace Steve Bruce, according to reports in Italy.

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Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands the 52-year-old is the “number one suspect to take the reins” with Bruce tipped to be sacked.

Conte is one of several managers to be linked with the United job – including Eddie Howe and Steven Gerrard.

However, contrary to reports, The Sun reports that the Premier League and Serie A title winner would likely turn down any approach for Newcastle.

That is because Conte is only keen on managing a club who are already in a position to genuinely challenge for titles.

Amanda Staveley, fronting the club’s new-look board, confirmed a decision is yet to be made on Bruce’s future.

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Philippe Coutinho ‘top’ of wishlist

Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho is top of the new owners’ wishlist, Spanish publication Sport claims.

The former Liverpool midfielder was first linked during early takeover talks last year, and the rumour has quickly re-emerged.

It’s claimed the Public Investment of Fund of Saudi Arabia, the huge wealth behind the ownership, already approached Coutinho's representatives over a move to St James’s Park.

Coutinho, a Brazilian international, is supposedly available for around £42million as the La Liga giants’ financial struggles continue.

Meanwhile, AS, a Spanish newspaper, has suggested Gareth Bale could also become a target.

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