Newcastle warned off Paulo Fonseca and told to raid FIFA for Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger
Steve Bruce leaves position as Newcastle head coach
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Former Newcastle United owner Sir John Hall has urged the club to appoint Arsenal icon Arsene Wenger as their new manager ahead of Paulo Fonseca, who is believed to be their priority target. The latter is reportedly in advanced talks to succeed Steve Bruce at the helm on Tyneside after the 60-year-old was relieved of his duties on Wednesday morning.
Bruce left Newcastle by mutual consent after a turbulent two-year spell in charge of the Magpies, who are currently languishing in the Premier League’s bottom three.
Graeme Jones has since assumed the managerial role on a temporary basis and will be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
Newcastle’s new ownership group are expected to appoint Bruce’s permanent replacement over the next few weeks, with Fonseca said to be at the top of their shortlist.
The former Roma boss has been out of work since June but came close to joining Tottenham over the summer prior to Nuno Espirito Santo’s arrival in north London.
Fonseca is said to be admired by Newcastle shareholder Amanda Staveley, who will now handle much of the day-to-day running of the club after their Saudi-led takeover was completed earlier this month.
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However, Hall has suggested that the Magpies should divert their focus into tempting Wenger back into club management instead.
The legendary former Arsenal boss, who won three Premier League titles during his time with the Gunners, has served as FIFA’s chief of global football development since 2019.
“If I was looking out for a manager, in my day I had the utmost regard for Arsene Wenger,” Hall, who owned Newcastle between 1992 and 2007, told talkSPORT.
“I thought he was an intellectual in the game. The game has changed and you need thinkers for the game.
“I would be looking for someone of the calibre of Arsene Wenger. I travelled on the train with him once when we were playing down in London.
“I had the most interesting conversation with him, he’s just an intellectual and that’s the kind of manager we need, a thinker, someone who knows which way the game is going.”
Wenger is widely considered as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever bosses thanks to his influential 22-year spell in charge of Arsenal between 1996 and 2018.
The 71-year-old has not been seriously linked with the Newcastle job in recent days but declared back in September that he would be open to a managerial return in the near future.
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“Overall we have to accept that our days come to an end at some stage,” Wenger told The Telegraph.
“I don’t rule it out, but I am completely focused (on Fifa) and I don’t worry too much about the rest.
“There are always people who say: ‘You are too old’. So at the time, maybe I thought they were right.
“But I am in good shape and I have not completely decided not to do it anymore.”
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