The 2019-20 Premier League season kicks off in 28 days, and Newcastle United is a club without a manger.
[ TRANSFER RUMORS: Alderweireld to Roma, Haller to West Ham ]
After Rafa Benitez left the club in his rearview last month, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley began the search for Benitez’s successor. Benitez’s last day as Magpies boss was more than two weeks ago.
Steve Bruce, who’s currently in charge of EFL Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, has been reported as the leading candidate for a few days now, yet no announcement has been made; no official word from either side that negotiations have taken place.
Now, four weeks to the day before the new PL season kicks off, there are reports out of the UK stating Wednesday have demanded an increased fee from Newcastle to buy Bruce out of his existing contract. According to Sky Sports, the figure Wednesday quoted Newcastle is “far greater than originally expected.”
Given Ashley’s penny-pinching ways, no one in the soccer world would be surprised if he flat out refuses and walks away from the negotiating table, and starts the hiring search over from square one.
Just when Newcastle backed its way into a brilliant manager and an increasingly stable foundation for the club going forward — not to mention talks of a takeover that seemed very real at the time — they suddenly find themselves with none of the above, with many thanks to Ashley. Again.