Newcastle warned off Fonseca; told to land legendary Prem boss instead

Date published: Thursday 21st October 2021 2:05 - Rob McCarthy

Former Newcastle owner Sir John Hall has urged the club not to appoint Paulo Fonseca as their new boss and to turn to legendary Arsenal figure Arsene Wenger instead.

The former is said to be in advanced talks to take over at St James’ Park after Steve Bruce was shown the door on Wednesday. Bruce left the club, with Newcastle sitting in the relegation places after the 3-2 loss to Tottenham over the weekend.

Graeme Jones has taken on the job on a temporary basis and will be in the dugout for Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Newcastle’s new ownership group are expected to appoint Bruce’s replacement over the next few weeks. And with that in mind, Fonseca is said to be at the top of their shortlist.

The former Roma boss is currently out of work after leaving the Stadio Olympico in June. He was expected to take over at Tottenham, but they eventually decided on Nuno Espirito Santo instead.

Fonseca, who likes to play attacking football, is said to be admired by Newcastle shareholder Amanda Staveley.

But Hall, who owned Newcastle between 1992 and 2007, firmly believes his old club should switch focus from Fonseca to Wenger.

The Frenchman, who won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, has served as FIFA’s chief of global football development since 2019.

“If I was looking out for a manager, in my day I had the utmost regard for Arsene Wenger,” Hall told talkSPORT.

“I thought he was an intellectual in the game. The game has changed and you need thinkers for the game.

“I’d be looking for someone of the calibre of Arsene Wenger. I travelled on the train with him once when we were playing down in London.

“I had the most interesting conversation with him, he’s just an intellectual and that’s the kind of manager we need, a thinker, someone who knows which way the game is going.”

From Porto sorrow to Zorro: Paulo Fonseca’s most iconic moments

Wenger not ruled out management return

Wenger is widely considered as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever bosses after 22 years in north London.

The 71-year-old has not been seriously linked with the Newcastle job in recent days. However, back in September he admitted that a return to management could be on the cards.

“Overall we have to accept that our days come to an end at some stage,” Wenger told The Telegraph.

“I don’t rule it out. But I am completely focused (on Fifa) and I don’t worry too much about the rest.

“There are always people who say: ‘You are too old’. So at the time, maybe I thought they were right.

“But I am in good shape and I have not completely decided not to do it anymore.”

READ MORE: Seven Arsenal stars facing January axe with Edu tipped to clean house


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