ESPN have made some intriguing claims on the takeover front in the last few moments, revealing a host of managers and players who are already thought to be on the Saudis radar.
Starting with managerial options, they claim that Bruce will be given the remaining 9 games of 2019/20 (should they go ahead!), but state a ‘high-profile’ name will be brought in for ‘next season’.
Max Allergi, Rafa Benitez and Borussia Dortmund boss Luvien Favre as four ‘options’ being considered, but state that ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is the prospective owners “no.1 target”.
As for ‘transfer targets’, ESPN claim to have been told that agents of PSG’s Edinson Cavani, Napoli’s Dries Mertens and Chelsea’s Willian have all been contacted, suggesting summer bids could be in the offing should a deal go through.
For anyone who doesn’t believe us, here’s a snippet from ESPN’s latest piece:
Newcastle’s prospective new owners will go after a big-name manager with Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino among their preferred candidates and Edinson Cavani a transfer target, sources have told ESPN.
Paperwork is being finalised for the sale after an agreement was found on Monday between Mike Ashley and PCP Capital Partners, the Saudi-backed consortium.
Despite reports suggesting Steve Bruce will have time to prove himself, sources have told ESPN the owners want a more high-profile name for next season, with four leading contenders: Pochettino, Allegri, Rafael Benitez and Lucien Favre.
Benitez and Favre are in jobs, with Dalian Yifang FC and Borussia Dortmund respectively, while Pochettino and Allegri are not in work. The new owners believe they can put together an offer and project to attract any of their targets, like Everton did with Carlo Ancelotti.
There have been frequent meetings over video messaging service Zoom over the past few weeks, Allegri joining Pochettino on the new owners’ shortlist, though the former Tottenham manager is the No. 1 target.
To improve their chances of attracting a top-level manager, the owners will have to show their ambitions of recruiting big players. They are working with top agents in Europe and are interested in big-name players out of contract this summer, with a striker their main target.
Crazy claims which seem all too fanciful considering a deal is yet to be officially announced, but perhaps more proof that they’ll immediately aim high once they are formally confirmed as our new owners!