STEVE BRUCE has been confirmed as Newcastle United's new head coach and will now join up with his new squad in China.

The Magpies have handed Bruce a three-year deal has been appointed as the club's new head coach.

Bruce, 58, will be joined at St James' Park by coaches Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence.

Bruce said: "I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United. This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.

“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for. We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of.”

And Newcastle's managing director Lee Charnley has described how and why they have opted for Bruce despite criticism from sections of the club's fans given how he has previously managed Sunderland. 

Charnley said: “Steve has a deep affection for Newcastle United and we are very pleased that a coach with his vast experience and connections to the club and city has joined us.

“Steve knows what this club means to supporters and to the region and he will put his heart and soul into leading our talented group of players with the full support of our staff.

“The hard work for Steve and his team starts immediately and we will be fully prepared for the challenge of a new Premier League season.

“I would place on record my thanks to Ben Dawson, Neil Redfearn and our medical and support staff for the way in which they have worked together to oversee the start of our pre-season preparations.”

Bruce and his staff are scheduled to travel to China and will meet the squad following Wednesday’s Premier League Asia Trophy clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Dawson and Redfearn will continue to prepare the players for today's game.

Bruce is a former Wallsend Boys Club player whose career started at Gillingham. After a three-year spell at Norwich City, which included winning the League Cup, he moved to Manchester United, where he would go on to lift three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the European Cup Winners' Cup, as well as a further League Cup.

Bruce made 84 appearances for Birmingham City between 1996 and 1998, before a career in the dugout got underway with a player-manager role at Sheffield United.

In a 21-year coaching career since, Bruce has taken charge of a further eight clubs and has clocked up more than 900 competitive matches.

Bruce has been in charge of Sheffield Wednesday most recently and after tendering his resignation on Monday the two clubs have been discussing a compensation package. It is understood the Owls wanted around £4m.

Sheffield Wednesday have since threatened to take legal action against Newcastle after Bruce's appointment was confirmed. The announcement from Newcastle was a surprise to Wednesday.

A statement on the Championship club’s official website said: “The club is disappointed to learn via public statement issued by Newcastle United that it has appointed former Sheffield Wednesday staff Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence.

“Regardless of the fact that the staff resigned from their positions with the club on Monday, there remains outstanding legal issues to be resolved between the club and the staff and Newcastle United. The club is currently considering its position and taking the appropriate legal advice.

“No further comment will be made by the club concerning this matter.”