New Newcastle United manager: Here is who is most and least likely to replace Steve Bruce at St. James’ Park

Newcastle United are set to undergo a period of transformation if their Saudi takeover bid goes through as expected - yet the biggest change could be the man in the dugout.

After an 18-month saga, a Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United worth £300 million is on the horizon, with an official decision from the Premier League expected within the next 24 hours.

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A man under-pressure even before this news came to light was Toon manager Steve Bruce, who has overseen a winless start to the domestic season as Newcastle sit in 19th place.

Despite a toxic relationship with the fans and reports of friction with the players, the incoming Saudi riches could bring a new ambition to the club that could spell the end of Brucey’s time at St. James’ Park.

NewcastleWorld had a look at some of the most and least likely men that the Saudi’s could turn to as the club reach the dawn of a new era.

MOST LIKELY: Eddie Howe (7/4)

The bookies’ favourite to take over at Tyneside is former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, who had a rather successful 11-year stint on the south coast.

The 43-year-old gained many plaudits over that period as he led Bournemouth all the way to the Premier League for the first time from the depths of League Two.

Known for playing a fairly attractive style of football, Howe has regularly been tipped for more high-calibre positions after being rumoured to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in 2018 - and more recently rejecting the Celtic job this summer.

Howe is both a realistic and likely option if the club decides to part ways with Steve Bruce.

MOST AMBITIOUS: Antonio Conte (9/2)

In what would arguably be the most ambitious option to steer the Toon army into this new era, Conte is a manager that oozes class, and his Premier League winners medal with Chelsea in 2017 is a testament to that.

The Italian is currently unemployed after leaving Inter Milan at the end of last season, where he led them to their first Serie A title in 11 years.

Previously hotly-tipped for the Spurs job this summer, Conte would be the club’s best chance at winning their first piece of silverware since the FA Cup in 1955.

His effective and ingenious style of play will bring results to St James’ Park, especially with the plentiful financial backing of the Saudi owners.

Conte would be a world-class appointment, though it is unlikely that he will replace Bruce.

DARK HORSE: Erik ten Hag (100/1)

In what would be both an ambitious and out-there appointment, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has received worldwide recognition for the job he is doing in the Netherlands.

The Dutchman has won everything he can domestically with Ajax, and has forged himself a reputation of building intelligent teams that play an attractive attacking style of football.

Geordies will remember him guiding Ajax to the Champions League semi-final in the 2018-19 season, knocking out big teams such as reigning champions Real Madrid and Juventus.

Despite signing a contract extension with the Eredivisie title holders earlier this year, ten Hag was reportedly in close conversation with Tottenham Hotspur in the summer.

Erik ten Hag would be an incredible replacement for Steve Bruce on Tyneside, and despite it not being the most likely, the riches of a Saudi takeover could be compelling.

Other candidates

Other well known - and hilariously out-there - candidates that have been linked with Newcastle United include: Rafa Benitez (9/1) ; Joey Barton (20/1) ; Michael Carrick (25/1) ; Shola Ameobi (33/1) ; Arsene Wenger (66/1) ; Alan Pardew (66/1) ; Lee Bowyer (90/1) and Jurgen Klopp (100/1).