Paulo Fonseca has been identified as the early favourite to succeed Steve Bruce as manager of Newcastle United.

The 48-year-old has been out of work since being replaced by Jose Mourinho at Roma in the summer.

But who is the man in the running to take over at St James’ Park?

Who is Paulo Fonseca?

Born in Mozambique, Fonseca spent his entire playing career in Portugal.

The centre-back featured for the likes of Maritimo and Vitoria Guimaraes, and had a three year spell at Porto – though he never made an appearance for one of the country’s big three sides.

His most successful spells came at Barreirense where he started his career, and Estrela Amandora where he finished it.

Over the course of his 14-year playing career, Fonseca notched up 249 appearances and score 13 goals.

Retiring in 2005, he quickly made the jump to management, taking over the Estrela Amandora youth side.

Various short spells at clubs around Portugal followed before Fonseca landed the Porto job in 2013.

The Northern Echo: Ex-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Credit: PAEx-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Credit: PA

Replacing Vitor Pereira, he lifted the Portuguese version of the charity shield early in his tenure, but ultimately failed to see out the season.

He was sacked in March with his Porto side sitting in third the Primeira Liga.

Year-long spells at Pacos de Ferreira and Brage would follow before Fonseca found a home at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fonseca’s side were crowned were crowned Ukranian Premier League champions during every season of his tenure, and they also lifted three Ukranian Cups during his three-year stay.

He eventually stepped down from the club to take over at Roma.

During two years at the Italian giants, Fonseca managed 52 wins in 102 games, a win rate of almost 52 per cent.

He was replaced by Jose Mourinho this summer after guiding the club to the semi finals of the Europa League and a seventh placed finish in Serie A.

Who else is in the running for the Newcastle United job?

Paulo Fonseca has been installed as the bookies' pick to take over the reins at the club.

He replaces previous favourites Lucien Favre and Eddie Howe, who remain in with a shot according to the bookmakers.

Ex-Dortmund boss Favre is priced at 7/4 in some places, while Howe, without a job since leaving Bournemouth in 2020 is 3/1 in some places.

Other big names linked with the new vacancy at Newcastle are Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.