Former Newcastle United player Malcolm Macdonald has expressed his desire for Antonio Conte to take over at the club.
Newcastle United are set to enter a new era following the confirmed completion of the club’s takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) in a process that has been the best part of two years in the making.
And part of that new era will likely include the introduction of a new manager, with new club Director Amanda Staveley failing to give current manager Steve Bruce any reassurances about his position, stating: “We’re going to do a review right through the football operations, of the commercial side as well, and come back and make some decisions.”
And speaking about a potential new boss on the latest edition of NUFC Matters, Macdonald claimed that the former Inter, Chelsea, Italy and Juventus manager should be the one for the club to pursue:
“The first signing has got to be the manager they want in place to create all the changes that they want to see. Because obviously, the people who will be running the club, the people who have done this deal, they are going to be wanting to target Man City and Chelsea and say ‘we want to get above them, we want to be better than them.’ And so it’s got to be, from the very beginning, the first appointment has got to be a serious challenge on Man City and Chelsea.
“And therefore I feel that they will go for a really top name. One that I noticed the odds were being slashed quite seriously was Conte, the ex-manager of Chelsea. He’s now, I think he’s just left a club in Italy and so he is now at this present moment available. And the odds have been slashed.
“He’s had some serious success wherever he’s gone. Would he fit into St. James’ Park? I think with what’s going on now, they need somebody who thinks very, very big. Conte does that.”
TIF Thoughts on Malcolm Macdonald’s comments on Antonio Conte at Newcastle United
Can Newcastle attract Conte?
Approaching someone like Conte, who has a track record of success, certainly would be an ambitious move for the new owners to make, but you wonder if it perhaps might be too ambitious from the outset.
Given how bad Newcastle are right now, sitting 19th in the table, and with some claiming that they have a squad that could flirt with relegation, a drop down is still a serious possibility for this club. And with investment not able to come in until January at the earliest, the club might not look the most attractive club for Conte, or indeed any potential manager, even with the money that the club have just received.
So whilst there might be lofty ambitions for how the club want to proceed, whether or not their targets are going to be on the same page is a totally different matter.