Former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca has emerged as a contender for the Newcastle United managerial role, with talks expected this week.
Newcastle sacked head coach Steve Bruce on Wednesday morning.
Fonseca came close to being appointed as Tottenham’s head coach in the summer and remains keen on taking on a challenge in the Premier League.
The Portuguese is currently out of work and an interested club would not need to pay compensation in order to name him as their new boss.
Fonseca won three domestic doubles in his three seasons as manager of Shakhtar Donetsk between 2016 and 2019.
Fonseca lost his job at the Stadio Olimpico at the end of last season after guiding Roma to a seventh-placed finish in Serie A and he was replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Roma were also beaten in the semi-final of the Europa League by Manchester United.
Before his tenures at Shakhtar and Roma, the 48-year-old enjoyed managerial stints at Porto and Braga in his home country.
Current Roma boss Mourinho has distanced himself from the prospect of replacing Bruce, despite admitting he has an “emotional connection” with Newcastle as a result of his relationship with Sir Bobby Robson.
The club are without a win in the top flight this season and sit second bottom in the table after three draws and five defeats.
What would Fonseca bring?
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:
Paulo Fonseca has emerged as the front-runner to replace Steve Bruce at St James’ Park and if he does get the job, Newcastle supporters can expect attacking football and plenty of entertainment.
Indeed, it was his devotion to an attack-minded playing style that scuppered a potential move to Tottenham during the summer, the 48-year-old insisting the club’s managing director Fabio Paratici favoured a more defensive brand of football.
“The best way to defend is to have the ball,” said Fonseca in an interview with the Telegraph. “We have an obligation with supporters to create a spectacle, a good show. I have to be offensive and dominate the games… These are things which will die with me.”
Fonseca, 48, has been honing his preferred playing style throughout a managerial career which began in 2007. He started out in his native Portugal and, following spells in charge of Pacos Ferreira, Porto and Braga, where he won the Portuguese Cup, he moved to Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk and later Roma.
Fonseca spent the last two seasons at Roma, finishing fifth and seventh in Serie A before being replaced by Jose Mourinho, but he was more successful at Shakhtar, winning three consecutive league and cup doubles and enjoying good moments in Europe too.
Most memorably, in December 2017, his Shakhtar side clinched a 2-1 win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Fonseca has been turning heads in the Premier League ever since, attracting interest from Everton and West Ham before this summer’s approach by Tottenham, but it may now be at Newcastle that he gets his first chance in England.
Newcastle fixtures: What’s coming up for next manager?
October 23: Crystal Palace vs Newcastle – 3pm kick-off
October 30: Newcastle vs Chelsea – 3pm kick-off
November 6: Brighton vs Newcastle – 5.30pm kick-off
November 20: Newcastle vs Brentford – 3pm kick-off
November 27: Arsenal vs Newcastle – 12.30pm kick-off
November 30: Newcastle vs Norwich – 7.30pm kick-off
December 4: Newcastle vs Burnley – 3pm kick-off
December 12: Leicester vs Newcastle – 2pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports
December 16: Liverpool vs Newcastle – 8pm kick-off
December 19: Newcastle vs Man City – 2pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports
December 27: Newcastle vs Man Utd – 8pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports
December 30: Everton vs Newcastle – 7.30pm kick-off