June 23, 2020 / 1:46 PM / 9 days ago

Bruce not interested in Newcastle takeover talks, targets top-10 finish

(Reuters) - Manager Steve Bruce says he is not interested in the progress of the proposed Saudi-back takeover of Newcastle United as he remains focused on leading his side to a top-10 Premier League finish.

File Photo: Premier League - Newcastle United v Sheffield United - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - June 21, 2020 Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie celebrates with manager Steve Bruce after the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Owen Humphreys/Pool via REUTERS

A group with an expected 80% investment from Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF have made a reported 300 million pound ($374.82 million) bid to buy United from British businessman Mike Ashley.

The club is awaiting the outcome of the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test, with British media reporting that a decision could be made later this week.

“I’m brutally honest, I’m not really interested in it because I can’t influence that,” Bruce told a news conference ahead of Newcastle’s home match against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

“I’ll hear something when probably you guys hear something. Whatever is best for the club is OK with me.”

Bruce’s Newcastle, who sit 13th in the league standings, cruised to a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at the weekend to move within two points of 10th-placed Arsenal.

A potential ownership change puts Bruce’s long-term future at St James’ Park in doubt, with ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino seen as top contender for the job next season.

But Bruce said his sole focus was on “taking the club forward”.

“My job at the minute is to make sure that we are all focused on one thing - finishing the season off well, getting the season finished and making sure we are a Premier League club,” he added.

($1 = 0.8004 pounds)

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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