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

16

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.”