Lucien Favre, Antonio Conte and five contenders to become next Newcastle manager

Bruce has left the Premier League club and new owners will make their own appointment

If the end of the Mike Ashley era brought widespread celebrations among Newcastle United fans, then the news of manager Steve Bruce's departure is sure to be met with similar relief.

Ashley's tumultuous 14-year reign as Newcastle owner came to an end a fortnight ago when a consortium, led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, completed the takeover of the Premier League club.

Now Bruve has parted, although the club maintained it was by mutual consent. With the financial backing of the new owners, Newcastle are being linked with several managers to replace him. Here is a look at five leading contenders who could be the next manager at St James' Park.

Lucien Favre

The 63-year-old Swiss coach is being reported as one of the front-runners to become the next Newcastle manager and he would take a wealth of experience to St James' Park.

Much of Favre's 28-year managerial career has been spent in his native Switzerland and in Germany, save for two seasons in France with Nice, whom he led to their best ever Ligue 1 finish in his first full year in charge in 2016/17.

He also enjoyed success at FC Zurich, where he won successive Swiss Super League titles in 2006 and 2007, and at Borussia Monchengladbach having twice guided the club to Champions League qualification.

Favre has been unemployed since December 2020, when he was sacked by Borussia Dortmund after one-and-a-half seasons in charge.

A proponent of attacking football, Favre's approach would be welcomed by Newcastle fans tired of Bruce's negative tactics and pessimistic attitude.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - May 26, 2020 Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre talks to the media before the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Federico Gambarini/Pool via REUTERS  DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video

Antonio Conte

The former Juventus, Italy, and Chelsea manager is available having left Inter Milan shortly after guiding the club to the Serie A title last season.

Conte is regarded as one of the finest managers in world football and his appointment would be a major statement of intent by Newcastle and their new owners.

The 52-year-old Italian has enjoyed success throughout his managerial career, including three successive Scudettos with Juventus and ending Inter's 11-year wait for an Italian league title. Conte has also proved his pedigree in the Premier League, guiding Chelsea to the title in his first season before collecting the FA Cup in his second and final year.

The Italian would no doubt be able to help Newcastle attract top talent to the club, given his own standing in the game, although he does have a habit of falling out with club bosses over transfer targets.

Still, Conte would represent a significant upgrade on the incumbent.

File photo dated 24-01-2018 of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Issue date: Wednesday June 2, 2021. PA Photo. The managerial merry-go-round seems certain to gather pace once again this summer with some of the game's biggest names currently out of work. See PA story SOCCER Managers. Photo credit should read John Walton/PA Wire.

Roberto Martinez

The 48-year-old Spaniard has seen his stock rise in recent years having guided Belgium to the top of the Fifa world rankings, but their wait for silverware goes on after the defeat to France in the Nations League semi-finals.

Martinez has been linked with Barcelona, who, similar to Newcastle, are weighing up replacements for the under-pressure Ronald Koeman.

While he has largely experienced success in international management, Martinez's club record is more mixed. He led Swansea City to the League One title and impressed in the Championship before moving to Wigan Athletic, where he fought off relegation from the Premier League three times and guided the club to the 2013 FA Cup — the same season they were eventually demoted.

Martinez, who in 2012 had been in contention to join Liverpool, became Everton manager in May 2013 but after a fine debut season was sacked towards the end of his third campaign with the club 12th in the Premier League. Three months later, he was appointed Belgium manager.

Like Favre, Martinez is known for his attacking football, which would appeal to Newcastle, but his patchy Premier League record could count against him.

Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool legend has impressed north of the border with Rangers and is reported to be on the shortlist to become the next Newcastle manager.

Gerrard, 41, last season guided Rangers to their first Scottish league title in a decade and looks on course to defend the crown this campaign.

An all-time Premier League great as a player, Gerrard's lack of managerial experience means his appointment would be a bold move by Newcastle's new owners, considering the size of the job that awaits the next manager.

Eddie Howe

The 43-year-old Englishman worked wonders at Bournemouth, guiding the south-coast club from the brink of relegation from the Football League to the Premier League, with a brief and unsuccessful spell at Burnley in-between. He kept Bournemouth in the Premier League for five seasons.

Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth at the end of the 2019/20 season, when the club was relegated to the Championship. He was approached by Celtic in May but turned down the offer.

Like the other four candidates, Howe is reported to be under consideration by Newcastle, and while his tenure at Bournemouth ended with disappointment, he is still viewed as a Premier League-level manager.

epa08035297 Bournemouth's manager Eddie Howe during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Britain, 30 November 2019.  EPA/NEIL HALL EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications

Other candidates

Other names mentioned with the Newcastle position include Graham Potter, who continues to impress at Brighton & Hove Albion, Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers and former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca.

Meanwhile, many Newcastle fans have been calling for the return of Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard is still adored by the club's faithful after his three years in Tyneside, leaving only after disagreements with previous owner Ashley. Benitez is now back in the Premier League and has enjoyed a promising start with Everton.

Updated: October 20th 2021, 12:50 PM
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