By Alex McLeish

13th Oct, 2021 | 8:00pm

McLeish tips Newcastle to appoint 'world leader' after what he's heard from his 'mate' Bruce

Alex McLeish has tipped the new Newcastle United board to appoint a “world leader in football coaching” to replace Steve Bruce as manager.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland manager suggested his “mate” is resigned to losing his job after his quotes following the takeover.

Speaking to the Telegraph last week (7th October), Bruce admitted he fears the sack at Newcastle following the Saudi-backed buyout of Mike Ashley.

The 60-year-old insisted he has to be “realistic” and realise the newly-appointed board may want to appoint their own manager.

As revealed by Football Insider (12th October), Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard and Rafael Benitez are the new regime’s top managerial targets.

A Newcastle source has since told this site Leicester boss Rodgers is now ahead of the other two on Newcastle’s shortlist.

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McLeish admitted he empathises with Bruce over his situation at St James’ Park.

He suggested the new hierarchy would appoint one of the world’s “top 20” managers.

“I never want to see one of my mates (be sacked),” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“The guys who have been in the opposite dugout, who you’ve been to many charity nights and LMA dinners with. Guys like Steve, you get a real good feeling for them.

“You never want to see them getting sacked.

“But I almost felt that when I read Steve’s comments last week, he was resigned to losing the job.

“He was still in a very positive way. He’ll still be getting looking after, but at the same time no manager wants to lose their job.

“Steve, he can look back through turbulent times and I have a bit of empathy. He’s tried keeping teams in the Premier League even when they’re not spending as much as everybody else.

“Now there’s a difference and they will. It looks as though they will go for one of the top, recognised managers in the world. Top 10 or top 20, whatever., I feel that’s where they’ll go next.

“I would feel they’d go for someone who’s got the experience of being a world leader in football coaching.

“There’s no point being the richest club in the world and not getting the creme de la creme of the coaches.”

In other news, Newcastle United expected to complete signing of 28-year-old with “agreement” already in place.