Newcastle to offer Paulo Fonseca £6m a season after he impresses Amanda Staveley in interview

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Paulo Fonseca - Newcastle willing to offer Paulo Fonseca £6m a season after impressing Amanda Staveley in interview - AS ROMA
Paulo Fonseca - Newcastle willing to offer Paulo Fonseca £6m a season after impressing Amanda Staveley in interview - AS ROMA

Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca is the choice of Newcastle United director, and part owner, Amanda Staveley to succeed Steve Bruce and steer the club away from relegation danger.

Fonseca, 48, has held talks with the club, at which Staveley was present, after she brokered the recent Saudi Arabian takeover deal that saw the Public Investment Fund (PIF) gain control at St James’ Park.

Staveley is understood to be impressed with the former AS Roma manager, who also won three titles with Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, but any final decision would have to be rubber-stamped by Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan. He represents the interests of principal shareholder PIF, which owns 80 per cent of the club. Staveley's PCP Capital Partners hold 10 per cent, with the remaining 10 per cent controlled by the Reuben family, represented on the club's newly-constituted board by son Jamie.

The club’s major decision is whether they need a short-term appointment to ensure survival before building from next summer’s transfer window onwards. Fonseca has no experience of the Premier League but was at Roma after their takeover in 2020 and reached the Europa League semi-finals last season. It is understood he would command a salary of £6 million, including bonuses.

Should there be an agreement for him to succeed Bruce, Fonseca would be among the better-paid managers outside the group of Champions League-qualifying or title-winning coaches currently in the Premier League.

Al-Rumayyan agreed earlier this week to pay Bruce’s £8m compensation clause, and securing the right man to lead the club in the PIF era will require more investment, even for coaches like Fonseca who will not trigger a “transfer” fee payable to another club.

Frank Lampard, Eddie Howe and Lucien Favre are others under consideration who are looking to return to management, while Steven Gerrard has started his coaching career well at Rangers.

Managers joining a club mid-season usually negotiate a survival bonus should they keep the club in the division, with Newcastle second from bottom and just a point ahead of Norwich City, although also a victory away from climbing out of the bottom three.

Fonseca was in talks to be Jose Mourinho’s successor at Tottenham Hotspur in the summer before negotations broke down, but he has made it clear he would work in England for the right project.

He has been based in Kiev, where his wife is from, and some talks with Newcastle have been via video calls. He has outlined his football philosophy that has developed throughout a coaching career that started in the lower leagues of the Portuguese game and then into high-profile jobs with Porto, Paços Ferreira and Braga.

In a recent interview with Telegraph Sport, he emphasised his commitment to playing attacking football and said that his style would suit the English game perfectly.

Until an appointment is made, Graeme Jones has been put in charge as caretaker manager and will take the helm this weekend for the trip to Crystal Palace, his first match as a Premier League manager.

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