Newcastle United are reportedly thinking about replacing Steve Bruce at St James’ Park but is Mauricio Pochettino heading back to the Premier League?

Mauricio Pochettino should be the only man in the frame to replace Steve Bruce at Newcastle United, former Premier League forward Stan Collymore has told the Mirror (5 May, page 47).

The prospect of the affable Geordie gaffer losing his dream job at St James’ Park has certainly left pundits, if not the fans, divided.

Bruce remains a popular figure in the upper echelons of English football and, on paper at least, the former Sunderland boss deserves praise for the job he has done in testing circumstances since replacing Rafa ‘Messiah’ Benitez on Tyneside.

Newcastle have largely avoided a relegation battle with their well-drilled team ethic cancelling out a lack of cutting edge, while reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since Mike Ashley’s takeover a decade or so ago.

But, with Ashley expected to sell the sleeping giants to a Saudi Arabian billionaire, a whole host of big-name managers have already been linked with Bruce’s job.

According to Collymore, however, it should be Pochettino or no one.

“Newcastle’s potential new owners are adamant there is no shortlist yet to replace Steve Bruce but, if there was, it would be a very short list indeed. I’d only have one name on it – Mauricio Pochettino,” says the ex-Aston Villa and Liverpool favourite.

“Former Tottenham boss Poch would have The Toon playing high-pressing, high-octane football in front of 52,000. He has a proven track record with youngsters and proven assistants such as Jesus Perez.

“More importantly he needs to win something, which means he will be very, very motivated.”

Max Allegri, Luciano Spalletti, Lucien Favre and Andre Villas-Boas have also been tipped to take over at Newcastle, but Pochettino appears to be the number one choice, with Sky reporting that the Argentine has been offered a staggering £19 million-a-year contract.

In other news, Report: Nottingham Forest and Derby battling to secure £5m player