Steve Bruce leaves position as Newcastle head coach
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Newcastle could hand themselves an advantage over Chelsea in their transfer pursuit of Eden Hazard by appointing Blues legend Frank Lampard as their new head coach. The Magpies are planning a big-spending January to kick off their new era under fresh ownership.
A consortium fronted by Amanda Staveley and 80 per cent backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia completed their long-awaited takeover on 7 October.
It was widely expected that unpopular boss Steve Bruce would soon be sacked.
The 60-year-old was handed his 1,000th game in management, a 3-2 defeat by Tottenham, but departed by mutual consent on 20 October.
Several names have been suggested to succeed Bruce. Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca and ex-Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre are considered the favourites.
England icons Steve Gerrard and John Terry have also been suggested. As has their former Three Lions team-mate Lampard, who is still without a job having been sacked by Chelsea in January.
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And appointing the 42-year-old could hand Newcastle a boost as they aim to improve their attacking options.
According to ESPN, former Blues star Hazard, who could cost around £42.5m, has been touted to Premier League clubs willing to prise him away from his difficult spell at Real Madrid.
The Belgian has scored just five times in 52 appearances for the Spanish giants. He has failed to win over the club’s supporters since his £100m move from Stamford Bridge in 2019.
Hazard would likely relish the opportunity to link up with Lampard and could choose Tyneside over a return to Chelsea. He did not get to work under his former team-mate when Lampard took charge having decided to leave only a few weeks before.
According to Spanish outlet El Nacional, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich believes that Hazard, who is still only 31, can rediscover his best form back in England.
The forward scored an incredible 110 goals in 352 appearances, including 16 in his final Premier League campaign.
But the Russian tycoon could be pipped to Hazard’s signature by Newcastle director Staveley. The businesswoman has made huge promises to supporters, including ‘world-class’ signings.
Lampard, who was denied a transfer window at Chelsea due to a transfer ban, would benefit from big-money additions should he be appointed.
Despite his poor form in Madrid, Hazard would still come under that category.
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Upon helping to broker the purchase of Newcastle from the deeply unpopular Mike Ashley, Staveley told journalists: “We are in the market to compete for world-class players.
“We have great ambitions — I hope it’s going to be a game changer for Newcastle United.
“But if you don’t put the infrastructure around that world-class player and you don’t have a team that can play with him, you’ll get nowhere.”
She added: “The training ground is really awful and needs a huge amount of investment. Luckily, that is one area we are not restricted by Financial Fair Play. There is no point in having fantastic players if there is nowhere for them to train.
“To get to the top of the Premier League you need a strong foundation, not just great players. They need to be robust and we need to build them.
“We also want to invest in St James’ Park — it needs a little bit more love.”
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