Newcastle United could end up spending more on a deal to bring Steve Bruce to Tyneside than they would have to keep Rafa Benitez, according to the Sun journalist Alan Nixon.
The Magpies have been heavily linked with a move for the Sheffield Wednesday boss in recent days, but it is understood that they will have to pay the Championship club £5 million in compensation.
Added to the fees needed to ensure that Bruce’s preferred coaches, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, follow him to the north east, that could take the whole package to somewhere in the region of £6 million.
If this is true, it will do little to calm the increasing ire that is gripping the Toon Army at the moment. Rafa Benitez was regarded as some kind of demigod on Tyneside, and his departure hit fans hard. To then find out that their club might be forced to fork out even more on a manager like Steve Bruce will hardly fill them with joy. No offence to Bruce, but he is hardly a big name, and while some kind of compensation was always going to have to be agreed with Wednesday, £6 million seems excessive. As for Benitez, you get the impression that his departure was not all about the money, especially with regards to his salary. You have to question, however, if Mike Ashley could have done more to persuade him to stay, especially given his apparent willingness to splash out on Bruce’s services. This feels like another shambles approaching.