The Toon make controversial approach for ex-Sunderland manager Steve Bruce

Newcastle are ready to make an official approach for Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce with the Geordie now the Toon’s top target to replace Rafa Benitez.

Reports suggest that they are willing to pay the compensation to get Bruce out of Hillsborough which is thought to be no more than £1million.

Ex-Sunderland manager Steve Bruce Bruce took charge of Wednesday in February but is only on a one-year rolling contract with the Yorkshire side.

Despite managing Newcastle’s rivals Sunderland from 2009 to 2011, rumours suggest that he would jump at the chance to boss his boyhood club.

Bruce is now odds-on favourite for the post with bookmakers and top casinos online and returns to England from the Owls’ pre-season trip to Portugal on Wednesday.

Bruce may meet owner Mike Ashley to seal a deal ahead of Saturday’s pre-season trip to China.- despite the Sports Direct tycoon taking a hands-off approach with Benitez.

The Geordie has jumped to the front of the queue after the likes of Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira and Roberto Martinez turned Newcastle down.

Following the Owls’ 2-0 friendly win over Shrewsbury on Tuesday, Bruce spoke about the Toon’s interest and said: “God only knows what happened on Tuesday afternoon.

“There seemed to be an upsurge in the betting from somewhere.

“John Terry was favourite yesterday. It was Mikel Arteta the day before so who knows.

According to, Newcastle have been heavily backed for relegation following Rafa’s exit so it’ll be interesting to see how the odds fluctuate if Bruce takes over the reigns at The Toon.

The Toon make controversial approach for ex-Sunderland manager Steve Bruce

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