By Alex McLeish

20th Oct, 2021 | 11:42am

Martinez the 'outstanding candidate' for Newcastle job as appointment expected soon - pundit

Roberto Martinez would be an “outstanding candidate” to take charge at Newcastle United, according to Alex McLeish.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland boss insisted the 48-year-old has proved his ability as a top-level manager with Belgium.

As reported by the Times (18th October), Martinez, Unai Emery and Steven Gerrard are among the leading contenders to replace Steve Bruce at St James’ Park.

Newcastle confirmed Bruce left his post by mutual consent on Wednesday.

A move to Tyneside could see Martinez reunite with current Newcastle interim manager Graeme Jones.

Jones was Martinez’s assistant at Swansea, Wigan, Everton and Belgium.

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McLeish insisted most of the names linked with the Newcastle post have a good standing in the game.

However, he singled out Martinez as a standout option for the Magpies.

“CV-wise, some of these names have been at a high level for quite a considerable amount of time,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“It’s been difficult for other managers who are languishing in the bottom half of the table. They didn’t quite have the resources to spend the money perhaps they would have liked.

“You wouldn’t say the managers quoted have been outstandingly successful. Roberto has got Belgium very close in finals and things like that.

“He is a renowned manager. Because of the level of performance and the quality of the team that he has had over the past few years, he is an outstanding candidate.”

Martinez’s last club post was at Everton between 2013 and 2016.

He took over Belgium in the summer of 2016 and has won 50 of his 66 games in charge.

In other news, pundit tips Newcastle United to have four new signings through the door on January 1st.