Newcastle hopeful Steve Bruce will be named new boss by weekend

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Bruce was only appointed Wednesday gaffer in January, but it's believed he has asked the club's chairman to be allowed to speak to the Premier League team.

Rafael Benitez revealed he has had more meetings with senior officials at Dalian Yifang in his first week in charge of the Chinese Super League club than with Mike Ashley during his three-year tenure at Newcastle United.

"I was certainly extremely surprised", Allardyce told talkSPORT about the approach.

A boyhood Newcastle fan, it is the job his parents, who died a year ago, always wanted Bruce to take and although he will walk into the eye of a storm on Tyneside he is ready to accept the criticism that will follow his appointment.

"It never really got to the sort of talks people are suggesting".

Writing on his blog for the first time since moving to China, he highlighted the warm welcome he had received at the club in contrast with the hard relationship he endured with Newcastle owner Ashley and his management team.

Newcastle would have to pay over £5 million to land Steve Bruce as their new manager from Sheffield Wednesday, according to a report by the Times. I politely said "no". I appreciate the offer.

Wading into the middle of a toxic relationship between club owner Mike Ashley and rebellious fans is only one of the current problems, with the task of replacing Ayoze Perez, Salomon Rondon, Mohamed Diame, Kenedy and Antonio Barreca from the squad which secured a 13th-place finish last season perhaps even more pressing.

The 58-year-old has managed a host of clubs throughout his managerial career.

Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira are also names to be linked with the vacant Newcastle job.

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