LEICESTER CITY’S owners will do all they can do hold on to Brendan Rodgers if Newcastle United opt to make a formal approach to the Foxes boss.

With Steve Bruce’s departure expected to be confirmed in the next couple of days, the two main priorities for Amanda Staveley and her advisors this week will be the appointment of a new sporting director and the search for Bruce’s successor.

Both have the potential to become drawn-out affairs, hence the likelihood of Lee Charnley remaining in place for a ‘bridging period’ as the new regime gets its executive structure in place and Graeme Jones being appointed to an interim managerial role that is likely to see him in the dug-out for Sunday’s home game with Tottenham.

The precise make-up of Staveley’s managerial shortlist will be influenced by the identity of the new sporting director – Ralf Rangnick, currently head of sports and development with Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, has been strongly touted as a leading candidate – but a number of possibilities have already been discussed.

Rodgers is understood to be regarded as a viable contender, with his managerial pedigree having been firmly established by his spells at Swansea, Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester.

He is currently in third full season as Leicester boss, having been appointed in February 2019, and while results have not quite gone to plan this season, with the Foxes currently sitting in 13th position in the table, he remains extremely popular with Leicester’s owners, who regard him as an integral part of their plans for the future.

As a result, if Newcastle opt to make a formal approach to Rodgers, their interest will be firmly rebuffed by the Leicester hierarchy, led by King Power CEO and chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.

Rodgers’ thoughts on the situation remain unknown. He may feel he has unfinished business at the King Power Stadium, although he could also feel he has realistically taken Leicester as far as they can go following last season’s success in the FA Cup and be open to the offer of a new challenge on Tyneside.

He is far from the only candidate currently under consideration, however, with Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, former Borussia Dortmund manager Lucien Favre, ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and Brighton manager Graham Potter all having been touted as leading contenders in the last few days.

Newcastle’s players are set to return to the training ground today following an international-window break, with Staveley expected to meet them in person this afternoon.