STEVE BRUCE will return to Newcastle United’s training ground for work as usual this morning, having had no contact with the club’s new owners since Sunday’s home defeat to Tottenham.

Newcastle’s players have had some time off since losing to Spurs, but will resume training today as they begin preparations for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Crystal Palace.

It remains to be seen whether Bruce is still in charge for the game at Selhurst Park, but while it felt as though his departure was inevitable in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s defeat, the fact he has not been approached by Amanda Staveley, who is in charge of the day-to-day running of the club, suggests a managerial change is not especially imminent.

The new regime are still establishing the chain of command between Staveley, Jamie Reuben and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, with all key decisions effectively having to be signed off by all three parties before they can be enacted.

That is understood to be slowing down the process of a potential managerial change, although the situation is also complicated by the desire to appoint a sporting director, with the executive-level changes running in parallel to the search for a new boss.

Yesterday brought a raft of headlines suggesting Eddie Howe is the new frontrunner to replace Bruce, although while the former Bournemouth boss is understood to be interested in a move to St James’ Park, there has been no formal approach at this stage.

Howe turned down the opportunity to move to Celtic at the start of the summer, but is ready to return to management and regards the Newcastle job as an appealing proposition despite the club’s current position in the relegation zone.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and Villarreal manager Unai Emery also remain leading contenders, along with Lucien Favre, who turned down the opportunity to join Crystal Palace in the summer, and Paulo Fonseca, who pulled out of a proposed move to Tottenham ahead of the start of the current campaign.

Meanwhile, Newcastle are understood to be considering their response to a Premier League vote which has temporarily banned teams from agreeing sponsorship deals linked to their owners.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting on Monday amid concerns that Newcastle’s new owners could sign lucrative deals with Saudi state-owned companies.

A one-month ban on deals linked to club owners has been introduced to allow further debate on the issue.