EPL

Bruce insists he can compete with the best as Newcastle United takeover talk builds

By Sports Desk May 21, 2020

Steve Bruce insists he would be the right man to get Newcastle United competing with the best if the takeover of the club goes through.

A Saudi investment fund, led by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, is said to be hopeful of completing a £300million purchase of the Premier League outfit.

There were reports emerging from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that league officials had given the green light for the deal to go through, although the suggestion in England is that the process of ratifying the potential change of ownership has been delayed while plans to restart the 2019-20 season are put in place.

Talk has grown that Newcastle's prospective new owners want to replace Bruce with a more high-profile manager, with Mauricio Pochettino and former Magpies boss Rafael Benitez among those linked with the job.

Bruce, though, wants the chance to prove he can get Newcastle challenging the established elite.

He told Sky Sports: "We all aspire in management, we all aspire to be Pep [Guardiola], Jurgen [Klopp]... these great managers who've been a breath of fresh air to football. Jurgen Klopp coming into this country, you just have to applaud him for his tactics and the way Liverpool play.

"If it's good for Newcastle, and the club are going to try to compete with these teams, to be part of it would be great. I would love to see it and I'd love to be part of it. I hope it's where it goes, but in the meantime I'll just crack on, wait, roll my sleeves up and get on with trying to get some results to try and get the club going forward.

"If that happens for Newcastle in the future, then great – I'd be delighted. You do get labelled in the game, and that's why I enjoyed my time managing in the Championship. I'd back myself against most people in that division.

"But to be in a position where you're actually challenging, and you have a good enough team as Newcastle did in 1995 and under Sir Bobby Robson as well, then it would be wonderful. I'd back myself, of course I would."

For now, Bruce says he is none the wiser over the takeover process, adding: "I have a wonderful working relationship with [managing director] Lee Charnley and he told me, 'When there's something to tell you, Steve, I'll tell you'.

"We've left it at that and gone back to work. I'm in the dark like most other people, and for that, I'm glad, really, because I can't comment on it. It's not worth talking about it as I really don't know."

Related items

  • Kaka and Luis Fabiano lead tributes after former coach Vadao dies Kaka and Luis Fabiano lead tributes after former coach Vadao dies

    Kaka and Luis Fabiano have paid tribute to one of their former coaches, Oswaldo 'Vadao' Alvarez, who has died at the age of 63.

    Vadao most recently coached Brazil's women's team, taking charge at last year's Women's World Cup during a second spell in charge of the national side.

    He left the role following the tournament, with his side having gone out to hosts France in the last 16.

    A former midfielder, Vadao spent much of his coaching career in Brazil's domestic leagues, most notably enjoying spells at Corinthians and Sao Paulo.

    Kaka and Luis Fabiano both featured under Vadao at Sao Paulo in 2001-02, and the pair led the tributes to their former mentor on social media.

    "My eternal gratitude for you opening the doors to a boy that nobody knew and few believed [in]," wrote Kaka in an Instagram post.

    "But you believed, taught me, gave me opportunities for me to fly. Today the day is very sad, but the memories I keep in my heart are of great joy! Rest in peace my friend."

    On his official Instagram account, Luis Fabiano added: "Rest in peace Vadao.

    "You were very important in my career. My feelings to the whole family."

  • Premier League title gives Leicester 'stardom', says former boss O'Neill Premier League title gives Leicester 'stardom', says former boss O'Neill

    Martin O'Neill has praised Leicester City's progress under Brendan Rodgers and feels the club's famous Premier League title win is still helping them.

    Leicester are on course to reach the Champions League, with the Foxes sitting third in the Premier League table prior to the coronavirus halting top-flight action.

    A remarkable season has seen them equal the Premier League's record for the biggest ever win with the 9-0 triumph at Southampton, as they sit above the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal in the standings.

    The impressive campaign in Rodgers' first full season since joining from Celtic comes after Leicester finished ninth last season, with O'Neill - who managed them between 1995 and 2000, winning two EFL Cups - impressed by what he has seen.

    He thinks Leicester's unbelievable 2016 league success catapulted the club to a new level of stardom, helping to set foundations that make the current team more likely to remain a leading force.

    "Do I think that Leicester can make the Champions League? Oh, very much so," O'Neill said to Stats Perform News.

    "They are in a terrific position. They have played very, very well, they have played a nice brand of football as well. So, good credit to the manager, Brendan, he's done very well there.

    "Their season when they won the league was absolutely and utterly incredible. I suppose it takes the shine away from our particular years there, finishing in the top 10 for about four consecutive seasons and winning a couple of EFL Cups.

    "But overall, Leicester City are a very fine footballing team. They are competing.

    "They are competing financially in the market as well. They are pretty astute, they got a lot of money from Manchester United for the centre-back [Harry Maguire] and then used it accordingly.

    "Of course, winning the league a couple of seasons ago has escalated into some sort of stardom anyway, if not super-stardom.

    "They are a team to be reckoned with, no question about that."

  • Joe Hart eyeing move abroad to revive career but accepts 'I'm not going to Real Madrid' Joe Hart eyeing move abroad to revive career but accepts 'I'm not going to Real Madrid'

    Joe Hart understands he is unlikely to earn a move to a top club at the end of the season but is eager to go abroad if that means he can become a key player for a team once more.

    Now 33, Hart has not played a Premier League game for Burnley since being dropped after a 5-1 home loss to Everton on Boxing Day in 2018, a match of which he "remembers every second".

    Since leaving Manchester City, where he won two Premier League titles, he has represented Torino and West Ham on loan, while the goalkeeper with 75 caps to his name has lost his place in the England squad.

    Hart acknowledges he may not be joining a side contending for titles when his Burnley contract expires but is more determined than ever to prove he has much to offer.

    "It [my desire] has got stronger," Hart said to the Guardian. "This lockdown has made me realise how much I want to play football.

    "I understand I'm not going to be part of Real Madrid. I don't think I've lost the ability, but I know how football works.

    "All I want to do is be a big part of something. I just want to be a big part of a club and give my all to them. That hope burns through me."

    Referring to his time at Torino, Hart added: "I enjoyed being part of that club. In terms of being in a different country, experiencing a different culture, playing a different league, I absolutely loved it.

    "It's definitely something I'd love to do again. I believe there will be [clubs who want to sign me]. But they all need to work out exactly what the hell is going on [with the coronavirus pandemic].

    "I like to think I'm a good catch. I'm on a free contract, I've got experience and real hunger. The Premier League has been great for me but I'm more than willing to spread my wings, I'm totally open [to playing abroad].

    "I just want to play at the highest level I can. In England, I don't feel I am going to be able to do that."

    Hart is to appear on a BBC programme on mental health to support a campaign led by Prince William.

    "It is certainly my lowest point – I'm sad I'm not playing, [but it is] a challenge rather than a dark cloud," he said of his own situation.

    "Mentally, because of what I've put in place when I was flying higher and winning leagues, I feel really comfortable talking about my head space. But I also need to speak because football is difficult.

    "It is hard but I'm going to be on a programme with guys who have real problems.

    "I want people who haven't experienced any adversity in football to learn from this. It's all very well riding the wave, but it won't last forever.

    "Inevitably, it's hard to maintain. How we react is something I'm keen on trying to help people with – giving them the tools to deal with those situations. One of the greatest things for me is to help people."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.