Sheffield Wednesday are 23 days away from their season opener against Reading at the Madjeski Stadium, in what is set to be Steve Bruce’s first full season in charge of the club.
Bruce joined in January but took full charge a month later and steered his Owls side to a 12th-place finish at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.
Wednesday will have been targeting taking the next step this season and challenging for the play-offs but it appears they may have to do so without Bruce, according to the Telegraph.
The 63-year-old has been linked with the vacant Newcastle United job and it appears that he may be leaving Hillsborough just six months after he took the job.
Here, FLW writer Ned Holmes examines the situation surrounding the Owls manager in today’s six pointer…
Firstly, what is the situation?
“Rafa Benitez left Newcastle at the end of June after failing to agree a contract extension with the club.
“Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira, and Sam Allardyce are all rumoured to have been approached as a potential replacement but it appears Bruce has emerged as the North East club’s main target.
How likely is it Bruce will leave?
“It now seems as though it is almost a done deal.
“According to the Northern Echo, the Owls boss has held talks with club owner Dejphon Chansiri about leaving Hillsborough and Newcastle officials are confident that they will be able to announce Bruce as their new manager within the next 48 hours.
“The report adds that the club want a deal for Bruce done quickly, so he can join up with the first-team squad before their pre-season game against Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy next Wednesday.”
How big of a loss is it?
“It is a huge blow for the Yorkshire club with the start of the season so close.
“Bruce was appointed in January with the club languishing in 16th and steered them to a 12th-place finish, winning seven and losing just three of his 18 games in charge.
“The 63-year-old is somewhat of a promotion specialist, having achieved it four times, twice with both Birmingham City and Hull City, so having him at the helm would’ve been a huge boost to Wednesday’s chances of making the step up themselves.”
Is he a good fit for Newcastle?
“After Benitez it seems a really uninspiring appointment.
“He does have a decent top flight record, having won 28% of the 392 games he has managed, but he took Hull down in his last spell in the Premier League and due to his time spent at Sunderland he is unlikely to be well received.”
Will there be any compensation?
“Yes but the exact figure seems to differ across reports.
“Originally £1 million was quoted as the amount that Newcastle would need to pay for Bruce, however, the Times have now reported that there is a £5 million compensation clause in the 63-year-old’s contract.”
What will the club’s next move be?
“If Bruce is set on leaving then you would imagine that Wednesday will want this done as quickly as possible and will be lining up replacements already.
“There are a number of options that the Owls could look at to succeed Bruce.
“Chris Hughton would be the obvious choice for me. He has Premier League pedigree, having taken charge of both Brighton and Norwich in the top flight, but more importantly, he has experience managing teams at the top of the Championship.
“He qualified for the play-offs with Birmingham City in the 2011/12 season and took Brighton to the play-offs in 2016/17 before winning automatic promotion the season after.”