Darren Bent has blasted the suggestion that Newcastle United could appoint Mauricio Pochettino and claimed he is “not a world-class manager”.

The former Spurs and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists it is “disrespectful” to current boss Steve Bruce to be discussing his successor.

As reported by Sky Sports, Newcastle’s prospective new board are willing to pay Pochettino £19million-a-year – equivalent to £365,000-a-year – after making him their first choice to take charge.

However, Bent believes that Bruce, who replaced Rafael Benitez last summer, deserves to keep his job for at least a year under new owners.

He also surprisingly played down Pochettino’s credentials after he steered Spurs to last season’s Champions League final and transformed the club into a Premier League and European heavyweight.

Bent told Football Insider: “First and foremost, for me, Pochettino’s not a world-class manager. He’s a very, very good manager, there’s no denying how good he is, what he did at Southampton and what he transformed Spurs into.

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“Before you start thinking about Poch and Newcastle, you need to give Bruce the respect he deserves. I understand that he wasn’t everyone’s favourite choice, everyone wanted Rafa to stay.

“The job Bruce has done by stabilising it, making them a mid-table team, I don’t think they’re going to get relegated, I can’t see that happening, people are still looking back at Rafa and thinking: ‘If he was to come back, we’d have him back.’ I just think it’s a bit disrespectful.

“I’d like to think if the takeover does happen, at least give Bruce a year to give him a chance to get the signings he wants to get in first, see what happens and if he’s not doing the right job then look elsewhere.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo

“They want a manager that’s going to take the club forward, I understand that, but I think Bruce, in his career, has won as much as Pochettino has.

“At the same time, I think it’s a little bit disrespectful. I think Bruce has earned the right to at least get a year.” 

In other Newcastle United news, the club have been touted to make a sensational move for Wilfried Zaha.