WITH Steve Bruce having left his position as Newcastle United manager, the search is on for his successor.

A number of potential candidates have been identified and discussed in the last few days – who are the leading contenders, and would they be suitable for the role?


The Northern Echo:

The Rangers boss has been strongly touted in the last few days, with his non-committal answers to questions over the Newcastle job at his press conference last Friday suggesting he might well be willing to leave Ibrox in order to take over at St James’ Park. Tellingly, Gerrard avoided the opportunity to rule himself out of the running.

A lack of managerial experience is the main negative to Gerrard’s candidature, with his only role since hanging up his boots having been with Rangers. He took charge of the club in 2018 and won his first Scottish title last season as well as Scotland’s Manager of the Year award.

His high profile as a Liverpool legend and England international will no doubt appeal to Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabian owners, but might he regard the job of leading the Magpies as a stepping stone to a managerial position at Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp departs?


The Northern Echo: Lucien Favre thought Borussia Dortmund were made to pay for their impatience (Adam Davy/PA)

Favre’s name has been mentioned throughout the last week, with the Swiss 63-year-old understood to have expressed an interest in taking over at Newcastle via an intermediary. He could have moved to the Premier League in the summer, but turned down the manager’s job at Crystal Palace before it was offered to Patrick Vieira.

Favre established his managerial reputation by winning the Swiss league with Servette and Zurich, but he took his career to the next level when he spent two-and-a-half years in charge of Borussia Dortmund, winning the German Cup.

He is regarded as an attack-minded coach, whose teams play attractive, high-pressing football, and he would happily fit into a structure with a sporting or technical director above him, which is believed to be something Newcastle’s new owners are keen to introduce. However, he has never previously managed in England.


The Northern Echo: Frank Lampard was granted permission to speak with Chelsea on June 25

Like Gerrard, Lampard is a former England international whose standing in the game would be a significant part of his appeal to the Newcastle hierarchy. Unlike Gerrard, however, Lampard has not really achieved any success since stepping into management.

His season at Derby saw him lead the Rams into the Championship play-offs, only for them to lose out to Leeds, while his 18-month spell with Chelsea ended in his dismissal after he failed to successfully mould a winning side despite spending £200m in the summer transfer window. Five months after his dismissal, Thomas Tuchel led the same side to victory in the Champions League final.

That said, however, Lampard would have a certain amount of pulling power in the transfer market and would be able to start work immediately given that he is currently out of employment. While money is available, he could also be appointed without the need for a compensation fee.


The Northern Echo: Unai Emery's Arsenal are due to play in Kiev on Thursday (Nick Potts/PA)

Emery’s name has been mentioned increasingly strongly in the last couple of days, with the Spaniard understood to be on the radar of Amanda Staveley and Jamie Reuben as they consider what to do next.

The 49-year-old is best known in this country for his 18-month spell in charge of Arsenal, which was widely regarded as a failure given that he was dismissed after failing to guide the Gunners into the top four. However, either side of that spell at the Emirates, he has established himself as one of the leading managers in Europe.

He won three Europa Leagues during his time with Sevilla, a Ligue 1 title with Paris St Germain, and led his current employers, Villarreal, to victory in last season’s Europa League, beating Manchester United in the final. While he has started the current La Liga campaign with Villarreal, the indications are that he would be willing to jump ship for Newcastle.


The Northern Echo: Spurs have called off talks with Paulo Fonseca with an appointment close

In terms of the bookmakers’ odds charts, Fonseca has been the biggest mover in the last few days. The former Portugal international was a big-priced outsider last week – now, he is amongst the bookies’ favourites.

The 48-year-old is a well-travelled boss, with his most recent posting at Roma having been his tenth managerial position in the last 14 years. His most successful spell came in Ukraine, when he won three national titles with Shakhtar Donetsk.

He is regarded as an innovative thinker, and held talks with Tottenham earlier in the summer, only for discussions to break down, forcing Spurs to turn to Nuno Espirito Santo. If nothing else, though, those talks confirmed his willingness to move to the Premier League.


The Northern Echo:

Of all the leading contenders being linked with the Newcastle job, Rodgers is the only one to have ruled himself out of the running. Aware of the speculation linking him with Tyneside, Rodgers reaffirmed his commitment to Leicester City in the strongest possible fashion at the end of last week.

Might his position shift if Newcastle were to make him a formal offer? It seems unlikely. Rodgers has made a big play of being a man of his word, and as Saturday’s 4-2 win over Manchester United proved, he has developed Leicester to a point where they are genuine contenders for a Champions League place. Goodness knows when that might be the case at Newcastle.

Rodgers’ appeal is obvious given his achievements with both Celtic and Leicester, but Newcastle will almost certainly have to look elsewhere.


The Northern Echo: Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has criticised Premier League scheduling

Conte is by far the most high-profile of all the managers being linked with Newcastle, although at this stage, it remains unclear whether the Italian would be willing to take over at St James’ Park.

A serial winner during a coaching career that started in 2006, the 52-year-old Italian has won three Serie A titles with Juventus, another Italian title with AC Milan, and a Premier League crown and FA Cup during his spell at Chelsea.

His appointment would be a huge statement of intent from Newcastle’s new owners, but it would not come cheap and Conte would almost certainly also demand a major financial investment in the next few transfer windows. His status as one of the world’s elite coaches is a massive allure, but Newcastle’s transformation might be at too embryonic a stage to make him a realistic option.


The Northern Echo:

Would Martinez walk out on Belgium to return to the Premier League with Newcastle? It is an interesting question with the next World Cup just a year away, with the 48-year-old likely to be figuring in the thoughts of the new regime.

A popular figure during his playing career, Martinez did well outside the top-flight with Wigan and Swansea before stepping up to the Premier League with Everton. His three-year spell at Goodison Park was somewhat underwhelming, although he did lead the Toffees into the Europa League.

He has done reasonably well with Belgium, taking the nation to the top of the World rankings, although it could be argued his failure to win any silverware with arguably the most talented national side in the world is a black mark against him. He has previously worked with current Newcastle assistant Graeme Jones.



The Northern Echo: DERBY TEST: Cherries boss Eddie Howe

Howe is regarded as one of the leading domestic candidates for the Newcastle job, and given he is currently out of work, he also has the added appeal of being able to walk into the role straight away.

The 43-year-old established his reputation during two successful spells with Bournemouth in which he transformed the Cherries from lower-league strugglers into an established Premier League force.

His only spell away from the South coast did not go so well though - he lasted less than a year at Burnley before leaving for "personal reasons" - and he perhaps lacks the kind of global recognition that Newcastle's new Saudi owners might be looking for.