Who's leading the way in the Premier League sack race?
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Newcastle United could completely change direction if their prospective £300million Saudi-led takeover goes through after a dispute with Qatar-based beIN SPORTS was reportedly resolved. The club’s prospective wealth could attract a host of new players, but the new owners could also look to install a different manager at the helm given that existing boss Steve Bruce has struggled to put points on the board this season. Express Sport looks at four manager options they may consider if such a change is planned.
The former Bournemouth and Burnley boss is only 43 years old, but he has already put together a more distinguished career as a manager than he did as a player.
His 11-year stint in charge of the South Coast outfit was crammed with overachievement, and he has regularly been tipped for more high-calibre positions.
Newcastle would certainly be a step up when it comes to the size of the fanbase, as well as expectations if they are injected with Saudi cash.
It is no surprise that Howe is currently one of the favourites to take the Magpies’ hotseat if the club decide to part ways with Bruce.
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Put simply, they don’t come much more recognisable in English football than Steven Gerrard.
The former England captain amassed 114 caps, as well as over 700 appearances for Liverpool before leaving for LA Galaxy and eventually transitioning to management.
Since doing so, he has restored Rangers to their former glory north of the border, dropping a total of just 12 points last season as they romped to the title undefeated.
He has broadly been tipped to take the reins at Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp moves on, although a Premier League stepping-stone, said with all due respect, could do him good in the short term.
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Although Howe and Gerrard are both among the front-runners to take the top job on Tyneside, the riches which would follow the Saudi-led takeover could also allow Newcastle to pursue more ambitious targets.
Antonio Conte would certainly fall into that category, a man who has produced serious results virtually everywhere he has gone.
His 2016/17 Premier League title with Chelsea can sit alongside the four Serie A triumphs he has amassed in Italy with Inter Milan and Juventus, with other silverware to boot.
Having left Inter at the end of last season after another league title, Conte remains on the market, and a route back into the Premier League could be something that perks his interest.
Speaking of ambitious targets, French football royalty Zinedine Zidane remains on the market after leaving Real Madrid last season.
Having brushed his glittering career aside to focus on management, the 49-year-old achieved a staggering amount in such a short period of time at the Bernabeu.
Three consecutive Champions League titles are the crown jewel in his managerial cabinet, accumulating a hoard of silverware over a five-year tenure at Madrid which was split across two spells.
Catapulting Newcastle up the table would be an altogether different brief, but if the Magpies put the right money on the table then you never know if Zidane could be tempted by the challenge.
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