STEVE BRUCE is set to be relieved of his duties in the next 48 hours, with Newcastle United’s new owners expected to install Graeme Jones in temporary charge for Sunday’s home game with Tottenham.

Having spent the weekend assessing their options following last week’s whirlwind takeover of the Magpies, Amanda Staveley and her advisors are set to make Bruce’s dismissal their first key move since replacing Mike Ashley.

It will cost around £8m to remove Bruce and some of his backroom team, but Staveley, whose PCP Capital Partners group are part of the Saudi Arabia-backed consortium that gained control of Newcastle on Thursday, is understood to regard a change of manager as an essential part of the ‘new beginning’ that was promised at the end of last week.

Newcastle’s players are due to return to training tomorrow morning after an extended international-window break, but it remains to be seen whether Bruce is charged with overseeing training. Even if he is, it is now only a matter of time before his exit is rubber-stamped.

Jones will assume temporary control, and is expected to remain in position for next weekend’s televised home game with Spurs, a match that is sure to be an emotionally-charged affair at a sold-out St James’ Park.

The current assistant boss, who was part of Gareth Southgate’s backroom team at this summer’s European Championships, will be offered a position in the new set-up, but is not being considered for a permanent managerial position.

Instead, Newcastle’s new owners have already begun the process of recruiting Bruce’s long-term successor, with Frank McParland, who is expected to be formally announced as a key member of the new executive set-up soon, set to lead the recruitment process.

The former Liverpool academy director and director of recruitment at Rangers will be tasked with finding an experienced, high-profile manager to lead Newcastle’s new dawn, but that figure will not be Rafael Benitez despite his close links to both St James’ Park and the new regime.

Benitez, who led the Magpies for more than three years between 2016 and 2019, was heavily involved in introducing Staveley to Newcastle and the club’s former owner, Ashley.

Both Benitez and Staveley share links with Owen Brown, PCP’s football consultant who is expected to continue to play an advisory role as the new off-field structure takes shape.

Benitez has been touted as a possible managerial candidate in the last few days, but the Spaniard is understood to have categorically ruled out leaving Everton in order to return to Tyneside.

The 61-year-old was only appointed as Everton manager in June, and while he retains a strong affinity to Newcastle, he feels it would be wrong to turn his back on the Toffees, who took a gamble on appointing him given his previous spell as manager of Liverpool.

Brendan Rodgers is regarded as a viable candidate despite his current position as manager of Leicester City, while Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is also expected to make the shortlist of contenders.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has been considered, but the Italian is believed to have a list of requirements that could result in Newcastle’s recruitment team looking elsewhere.

Lucien Favre, a former boss at Borussia Dortmund, has indicated his interest in the position, while Graham Potter and Eddie Howe have also been mentioned as potential domestic candidates with experience of managing in the Premier League.

At the same time as searching for a manager, Staveley and new Newcastle chairman, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, are also set to appoint a sporting director who will oversee the club’s long-term strategic planning as part of the new executive structure.

Ralf Rangnick, a former manager of Stuttgart, Schalke and RB Leipzig who is currently employed as the head of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, has been touted as a strong contender for the role.

Whoever is appointed as sporting director will be tasked with planning for the January transfer window, with a number of potential targets having been flagged up over the weekend.

Newcastle are understood to be interested in Manchester United duo Jesse Lingard and Eric Bailly, as well as Burnley defender James Tarkowski, who has entered the final year of his contract and is set to leave Turf Moor in January.

While financial experts have claimed the Magpies could spend around £200m and still adhere to the Financial Fair Play regulations, there is a desire to spend gradually rather than make an explosive statement at the start of next year.