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Paulo Fonseca in pole position to take over at Newcastle but deal not done yet - report

Paulo Fonseca
(Image credit: PA)

Paulo Fonseca has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Steve Bruce as Newcastle manager, according to reports.

Bruce departed St James' Park by mutual consent on Wednesday after a winless start to the season.

The former Sunderland boss was expected to be dismissed soon after Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund completed its takeover of the club last week.

But Bruce earned a stay of execution and took charge of his 1000th game as a manager when Newcastle faced Tottenham on Sunday.

But a 3-2 defeat by Spurs spelled the end for the boyhood Newcastle supporter, who admitted it had been "tough" to deal with the fans' criticism.

Graeme Jones, Bruce's erstwhile assistant, has been handed the reins on a temporary basis.

But Newcastle could have a new manager in place before Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace.

Fonseca is in pole position to land the job after impressing key figures at the club in talks held this week.

The former Roma head coach has been in contact with Newcastle's owners since the summer, when he came close to taking over at Tottenham.

But although Fonseca is admired by Amanda Staveley, who is currently responsible for the day-to-day running of the club, his appointment is not a done deal yet.

Roberto Martinez, Frank Lampard, Lucien Favre, Eddie Howe and Steven Gerrard remain in contention.

Like Fonseca, who was replaced as Roma manager by Jose Mourinho in the summer, Howe, Lampard and Favre are out of work.

The latter came close to succeeding Roy Hodgson as Crystal Palace boss in July, only to reject the job at the last minute.

Martinez has previously stated his desire to remain at the helm of the Belgium national team until after the 2022 World Cup.

Gerrard, meanwhile, is seeking to defend the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers.

Newcastle will hope to have the new man installed in the dugout before the end of the month.

The Magpies are currently 19th in the Premier League table ahead of Saturday's visit to Selhurst Park.

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