Roberto Martinez is the leading contender to replace Steve Bruce at Newcastle United this summer, Football Insider has learned.
Bruce’s position is under growing threat at relegation-threatened Newcastle amid a dressing room mutiny and almost universal calls from fans demanding he is sacked.
A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Martinez, 47, is firmly in the frame to succeed the man appointed in the summer of 2019.
The Belgium manager is highly thought of in English football after lengthy spells at Everton, Wigan Athletic and Swansea City.
He took over the ‘golden generation’ of Belgian talent in 2016 and led the nation to their highest-ever World Cup finish of third in 2018.
Martinez has now been in charge for five years, with his contract running through to the 2022 Word Cup after he penned an extension last year.
The Spaniard’s former assistant Graeme Jones was controversially appointed to Bruce’s coaching staff in January.
He had worked alongside Martinez for 11 years before returning to England in 2018 to join West Brom as Darren Moore’s assistant manager.
Jones subsequently had spells at Luton Town – as manager – and Bournemouth before his surprise move to Newcastle.
Bruce has received the backing of the United hierarchy led by owner Mike Ashley since the 3-0 defeat to Brighton immediately before the international break.
Football Insider revealed on Thursday that the 60-year-old is in line for an increase on his potential pay-off of £4million if he steers Newcastle to safety and is then sacked.
It is written into Bruce’s contract that the pay-off rises for each season that he oversees Premier League survival.