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Report: Discussions being held between Newcastle and Bruce

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If talks go well, Newcastle could bring a life-long fan of the club in as its new manager.

Steve Bruce confirmed on Saturday after a Sheffield Wednesday friendly match in Portugal that talks are being held between he and Newcastle over the club’s open managerial position. Newcastle has been without a manager since June 25 when Rafa Benitez left the club due to a difference in opinion between he and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

[READ: Pogba refuses to discuss transfer rumors]

“It’s in the hands of the clubs,” Bruce told BBC Sheffield, via the BBC website. “It’s come from nowhere over the last two or three days, so let’s see what the weekend brings. It’s happened so quickly that I’ve got to take stock of the whole situation. We’ll see what develops over the next 24 to 48 hours.”

It’s an interesting development for Newcastle, but it would always be difficult for them to replace a manager as good as Benitez with another one with his experience and man management. With Newcastle constantly on the verge of being sold it’s a tough job for any manager, which likely won’t get the backing from the front office they need to succeed.

As such, perhaps it makes sense that the only manager Newcastle is going for is one who was born nearby and is a long-time fan. Bruce once managed Sunderland in the Premier League but blamed his firing mid-season in 2011 on tribal hatred from Sunderland fans who wouldn’t let an “outsider” into the club.

By hiring Bruce, who hasn’t coached in the Premier League since taking Hull City up in 2013 and down in 2015, Newcastle could also be looking to try and win over the fans first, who may be disenfranchised by Benitez leaving, and the fans could potentially give the manager some slack if it’s another season without a top-ten finish.

Copa America: Watch Newcastle’s Almiron sets up Paraguay opener with 60-yard sprint (video)

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For the second time in as many games, Argentina has allowed it’s opponent to score the first goal. This time, it has Miguel Almiron to thank.

Starting with a dummy that lead to a more than 60-yard sprint to the end-line, Almiron showcased his top-line speed, strength, and dribbling ability as he lead Paraguay down the field in transition, eventually crossing into the middle. It was there that Olimpia’s Richard Sanchez met the cross and sliced it home to put Paraguay up 1-0 in the first half.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

Atlanta United fans saw plenty of that blazing speed during Almiron’s two years in the U.S. If Newcastle fans get to witness this in person more this coming season, Almiron will be a fan-favorite.

 

 

Benitez on his future at Newcastle: We’ll meet this week

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Rafa Benitez has made no secret of his wish to receive substantial funds to improve Newcastle’s squad over the past few years, yet he’s been rebuffed time and time again.

This season almost proved to be a breaking point, and despite the thin squad, Benitez guided Newcastle to a 13th place finish in the Premier League table, with 45 points, one more than a year ago. Now, the big question is whether Benitez will remain. His response, basically – we’ll see what happens.

[READ: Newcastle routs Fulham at Craven Cottage]

“We meet hopefully this week and see where we are,” Benitez told BBC’s Match of the Day following Newcastle’s 4-0 win at Fulham on Championship Sunday, referencing a potential meeting with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley. “We have plenty of time to enjoy, I have been very clear about the potential of this club.”

Benitez and Newcastle were able to break the club’s transfer record with the $27 million signing of Miguel Almiron, and while the Paraguayan didn’t score, he did provide a boost to the squad and set up a few goals on Newcastle’s way to securing survival in the Premier League.

However, there’s plenty of improvement needed across the squad, from improving the backline, central midfield, and potentially even at striker. Solomon Rondon is only at the club on loan, at the moment, and while a talented player, he still only finished with 11 goals this season in 34 Premier League matches.

Additionally, Newcastle will likely lose holding midfielder Isaac Hayden this summer as he looks to move to a club in London where he can be closer to his daughter and family. Should Benitez leave, there could be further overhaul, something that may negatively impact right back DeAndre Yedlin and Almiron moving forward.

Long-time Newcastle, Liverpool left back Enrique says he is cancer free

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The world is full of bad news these days, but here’s a story that should be uplifting to you, regardless of who you support.

In an Instagram post on his official page, former Liverpool and Newcastle left back Jose Enrique announced that a recent MRI revealed he was free of cancer after an 11-month long battle. In May 2018, Enrique revealed after going to the hospital for some headaches and vision problems, doctors had found a tumor in his head, a rare type called a chordoma, per the BBC. This type of cancer grows along the spine, and in Enrique’s case, it was sitting behind his left eye along the base of his skull.

However, despite the world-shattering diagnosis, Enrique seems to have responded just as doctors had hoped to treatment, and he revealed he’s cancer free in the video below.

“We’re so happy about it,” Enrique said. “I can look forward now, not looking back, and I can keep fighting.”

Enrique played 127 times for Newcastle between 2007 and 2011 before moving to Liverpool, where he featured 99 times for the Reds before being released in 2016.

Now retired, it’s great to see Enrique is healthy and hopefully he can now focus on whatever pursuits he wants to make in the future, whether within or outside of soccer.

Perez brings Newcastle three points closer to safety (video)

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  • Perez scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season
  • Almiron played 78 minutes before being substituted
  • Vardy fails to score after three goals in two games
  • Newcastle up to 13th place on 38 points

Ayoze Perez scored a first half header and Newcastle’s stayed resolute against late Leicester City pressure to secure three crucial points on the road. Newcastle defeated Leicester City, 1-0, at the King Power Stadium on Friday evening, with James Maddison nullified at one end and Perez scoring the winner at the other.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

January signing Miguel Almiron was like the energizer bunny, constantly making lung-bursting dribbles forward down the wing or through the heart of the defense to help push the ball out of Newcastle’s half of the field, though he failed to score again.

With the win, Newcastle moves up to 13th place with 38 points, and may have just secured safety in the Premier League for another season. Newcastle now sits ten points above Cardiff, which is in the final place in the drop zone to head back down to relegation. For Leicester, it remains in seventh place, but it has played two more games than eighth-place Wolves. Both clubs are on 47 points in the table.

Leicester City seemed to set out to pass their way through the Newcastle defense, with Rafa Benitez‘s side sitting in a low block and inviting pressure to allow Perez and Almiron to race forward and create counter attacking chances. Newcastle came closest to scoring in the 15th minute, when Solomon Rondon absolutely smashed a curling free kick off the crossbar, before it was headed away to safety by Leicester City.

The Magpies did get on the board finally thanks to some strong dribbling work at first from Almiron. The Paraguayan tried to dribble through two Leicester City defenders before Ricardo Pereira stepped in and knocked the ball away. It fell though right to Matt Ritchie and in the 32nd minute, Ritchie’s near-post cross was flicked past Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel and in for a goal.

Leicester City took the game to Newcastle in the second half, but just couldn’t find its way past the Newcastle backline. Leicester City’s best chance of the match came in the 78th minute. Star forward Jamie Vardy, who had three goals in his last two games, was played through into the box and was one-on-one with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka. However, Vardy’s looping strike went over the bar, the latest of many occasions in which Brendan Rodgers‘ side failed to execute properly in front of goal.