Which manager will lead Newcastle United into the new era?
A picture shows the Newcastle United logo outside the club's stadium St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England on October 8, 2021. - A Saudi-led consortium completed its takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United on October 7 despite warnings from Amnesty International that the deal represented "sportswashing" of the Gulf kingdom's human rights record. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

October 7th, 2021, was a day to savour for all connected with Newcastle United.

It began the start of a new era, a new dawn, a brand-new chapter in the club’s 128-year history and the end of Mike Ashley’s excruciating 14-year spell in the North East.

The Magpies are now estimated to be one of the richest football clubs in the world after the Saudi-Arabian backed consortium, featuring the Public Investment Fund, who have a predicted total net worth of £320 billion along with Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers, officially completed the much-anticipated £305 million takeover. 

So, what happens next?

The first big move that the new owners will have to decide quickly is whether they want Steve Bruce to remain as Newcastle manager.

In 96 matches as The Magpies boss, Bruce has won 29 and his side currently sit second bottom in the Premier League table and remain winless after seven matches in the top-flight this season.

If Bruce was to be relieved of his duties before his 1000th Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday, here are six candidates who the new owners could turn to as the club looks set to go through seismic changes on Tyneside, starting in the dug-out.

Eddie Howe

One of the stand out candidates in being linked with the Newcastle job is Howe. The former AFC Bournemouth manager had two unforgettable spells with The Cherries, including guiding the club from the bottom of League Two to the Premier League with three promotions in the space of six years.

Howe enjoyed a five-year stay with Bournemouth in the top-flight before being relegated on the final day in the 2019/20 season and left the club by mutual consent. 

After the 43-year-old rejected an offer to become the new Celtic manager in the summer, questions remain whether he would be interested in leaving the South Coast for the North East, even with the financial support from the new owners. 

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Frank Lampard

What Lampard achieved with Chelsea was underappreciated. Despite being under a transfer embargo and the departure of the Belgian superstar Eden Hazard in his first season in charge of The Blues, he went on to achieve a highly respectable top-four finish with an incredibly young squad. 

One key factor which stood out during his time at Stamford Bridge was handing out debuts to youth team players and he set a record at Chelsea in a single season of providing eight academy talents with first-team appearances. The two in particular which have established themselves as regulars for not just Chelsea but also England are midfielder Mason Mount and right-back Reece James. 

Lampard will be hungry for his next role in management and an opportunity to shine at Newcastle could suit all parties.

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Steven Gerrard

In his first managerial role, Gerrard has excelled in Scotland's top-flight. The 2020/21 season turned out to be a memorable one for Rangers as the former Liverpool and England midfielder guided the Ibrox outfit to their first league title in 10 years and finished the campaign unbeaten with a club record 102 points. 

Gerrard is now in his fourth season with The Gers, but he has previously been linked with the Newcastle role in the past when Rafa Benitez departed in 2019. 

Interestingly, would Gerrard rather wait it out in Scotland and see if Liverpool come calling once Jurgen Klopp decides to move on to pastures new, or would he be tempted by a massive challenge that lies ahead at St James' Park.  

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Antonio Conte

If any appointment would show Newcastle's ambition moving forward with their new owners, this would be it. In his first season in charge in England, Conte led Chelsea to the 2016/17 Premier League title. The following campaign saw the Italian lift the FA Cup after a 1-0 victory over Manchester United

After being appointed head coach of Serie A side Inter Milan in May 2019, Conte helped his side win their first league title in 11 years last season which subsequently ended Juventus' run of nine successive trophies.

Now that the Italian is out of work once more, having previously turned down the Tottenham Hotspur job in June, it's widely reported that he is waiting for one of the top clubs to hire his services. Though, could he be persuaded in moving to Tyneside? 

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Lucien Favre

In comparison to the other options available, the experienced Switzerland manager may not be a household name in England, but elsewhere in Europe, Favre is known to bring an attractive style of football to the clubs that he has managed and has gained a successful reputation in developing young players and promoting them to the first team.   

Favre is credited with raising the profiles of German internationals forward Marco Reus and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen during his time at Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund

The 63-year-old could have already been managing in the top-flight had he decided to join Crystal Palace in the summer but opted against the move after a change of heart. If the new owners would rather look to appoint someone with more knowledge of the game and a key figure, who could play a significant role in the development of the academy, then Favre may be a suitable option.  

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Rafa Benitez

Now this would be a sight to see.

Rafa was admired fondly by the fans during his three years at Newcastle but the lack of support from Ashley ultimately gave the Spaniard no choice and he left the club in June 2019. 

With Rafa now at Everton, the chances of him moving from Merseyside back to Tyneside look unlikely. 

However, former Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti rejoined Real Madrid for a second spell in charge at the Bernabeu. So, if the new owners are looking to eye up a potential replacement for Bruce, would Rafa be willing to come back for unfinished business. It can't be ruled out.   

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