By Wayne Veysey

22nd Jan, 2021 | 6:45am

Exclusive: Newcastle on verge of sealing landmark hire, deal just needs Ashley sign-off

Newcastle United are closing in on a landmark hire that will have huge repercussions for Steve Bruce’s position, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The north-east giants are negotiating the arrival of a key figure the club are confident can immediately improve the first team.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Bruce has full knowledge of the move and has given it his total backing.

The deal is at an advanced stage but a contract has not yet been signed and it needs owner Mike Ashley’s sign-off before it is finalised.

Football Insider understands that Bruce retains the full backing of Ashley and the Newcastle hierarchy.

His position is not under threat at this stage and the club are instead working behind the scenes to give him the platform to improve the team’s results and performances.

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Bruce is coming under increasing pressure from supporters on the back of a winless run of nine matches and a barren spell in which they have scored only once in the last seven games.

Newcastle are currently seven points clear of the relegation zone and the club’s number one priority is retaining their top-flight status.

That could have a major impact on any potential takeover, as well as Bruce’s long-term position at the club.

He has been in charge for 18 months after succeeding his popular predecessor Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle fans were left hugely frustrated following the failed takeover bid last summer, where supporters hoped that a Saudi Arabian-backed consortium would take control from Ashley.

In other news, football finance guru Kieran Maguire has shared a big Newcastle United-Mike Ashley revelation.