Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been tipped as a possible candidate to take over from under-fire Steve Bruce at Newcastle following the £300million takeover
Newcastle’s new owners have only been in the door five minutes but already ex-Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is being linked with the hotseat at St. James’ Park.
The Italian is out of work after leaving Inter Milan at the end of last season, having only just led them to the Serie A title.
However, it has been reported that Conte would reject the chance to work under Newcastle’s new regime – backed by Saudi Arabia’s riches – if he were approached by a side with better immediate chances of success.
Financier Amanda Staveley is heading up Newcastle’s new operation after a consortium completed a £300million takeover on Thursday and insists she is “very supportive” of current Toon boss Steve Bruce.
Yet she also conceded the threat of relegation was a “big issue” with Newcastle currently 19th in the table.
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It is expected Newcastle’s new-found wealth will aid a splurge in the transfer market, while their finances gives them serious power to help choose from almost any manager on the market.
Conte is the name on everyone’s lips at present, given his impressive track record, including in the Premier League.
But The Sun claim the 52-year-old is only open to entering employment with clubs who are ready to challenge for major honours now, rather than in the future.
Staveley has admitted herself that Newcastle’s “new era” was very much a long-term project and they would not be rushing into anything without careful consideration.
Conte would have untold resources to call upon on Tyneside but would realistically need time to build his squad before being in a position to land silverware.
It was only this past summer that Conte was reported to have turned down the chance to take up the reins at Tottenham after lengthy negotiations.
His name has also frequently been linked with a role at Manchester United previously, and with pressure mounting on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Conte may well feel sitting tight might be a better option than entering the cauldron of St. James’ Park.
Who should Newcastle target as manager if they replace Bruce? Have your say below.
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The takeover by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) is already shrouded in controversy over the involvement of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman.
The Premier League approved the agreement after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club, despite PIF owning an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle.
PIF are estimated to be worth £700billion in assets, as reports Sky Sports.
In context, Manchester City – who are backed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth – are valued at just over £30billion.
PCP Capital and RB Sports and Media are also partners in the consortium taking charge at Newcastle.
The consortium’s ambitions are clear, as Staveley expressed when news of the takeover was announced.
“Newcastle United deserves to be top of the Premier League. We want to get there. It will take time, but we will get there,” she said.
“We’re proud to be part of the Premier League. It’s an incredibly competitive league, which we love. Premier League football is the best in the world, and Newcastle United is the best team in the world.
“We want to see it get those trophies, obviously. At top of the Premier League, in Europe, but to get trophies means patience, investment, time. We want everybody to work with us to build the club towards what it needs to be.”