May 21, 2020 / 2:46 PM / 16 days ago

Bruce 'in the dark' over proposed Newcastle takeover

LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce says he is ‘in the dark’ about a proposed Saudi-backed takeover of the Premier League club but would hope to stay on under any new owners.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v Newcastle United - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - March 7, 2020 Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who took Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005, and ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino are seen as contenders for the job if a deal goes through.

A group with an expected 80% investment from Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF have made a reported 300 million pound ($375 million) bid to buy United from British businessman Mike Ashley.

“I have a wonderful working relationship with (Newcastle managing director) Lee Charnley and he told me, ‘when there’s something to tell you, Steve, I’ll tell you’,” Bruce told Sky Sports television on Thursday.

“We’ve left it at that and gone back to work. I’m in the dark like most other people, and for that, I’m glad, really, because I can’t comment on it.”

Bruce, who arrived in July 2019 after Benitez failed to agree a contract extension with Ashley, said he would like to see Newcastle given the resources to challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

He would also love to be part of it.

“To be in a position where you’re actually challenging, and you have a good enough team as Newcastle did in 1995 and under Sir Bobby Robson as well, then it would be wonderful,” said Bruce. “I’d back myself, of course I would.

“Whether you’re managing in the lower division or you’re right at the top, it’s about getting the best out of what you’ve got. And if you can do that, I’d back myself to have a crack at it. I’d be confident that I’d be able to do it.”

Newcastle are 13th in the league with matches suspended.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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