Newcastle make Andre Villas-Boas and Dortmund boss Lucien Favre backups in case Pochettino snubs mega-money move – The Sun

NEWCASTLE have lined up Andre Villas-Boas and Lucien Favre as backups should Mauricio Pochettino snub a big-money move to Tyneside, according to reports.

The Magpies are closing in on a major takeover bankrolled by Saudi Arabian ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

If and when that £300million deal goes through, the new owners are likely to want to bring in their own new manager to replace Steve Bruce.

Pochettino is their first choice but should he refuse an offer to head to St James' Park, the club have two alternatives.

Their next-best option would be Villas-Boas.

Foot Mercato believe the Portuguese boss is No2 on the list after his exploits with Marseille.

The former Chelsea and Tottenham gaffer won 42 of his 81 Premier League games across his spells at Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane.

He took over in South France last summer and led the club to a second-placed finish in Ligue 1 this term with the season terminated early.

However, should Newcastle fail to land Villas-Boas as well, they would apparently turn to Borussia Dortmund boss Favre.

The Swiss took over from Peter Stoger at Signal Iduna Park in 2018 and his side sit second behind rivals Bayern Munich with nine games of the Bundesliga campaign to go.

Despite a solid start, his popularity is declining at Dortmund and with his contract up in 2021 and not set to be renewed, there are already reports that the Germans are searching for a replacement.

Pochettino, though, would certainly be the main target.

The Argentine was sacked by Tottenham in November and is without a club – although he is still being paid by Spurs and would cost Toon £12.5m to hire him now due to a clause preventing him managing another club within six months.

According to ESPN, that expires in June leaving the former Southampton manager free to talk to prospective clubs.

The Saudi-backed buyout are ready to pay Poch a whopping £19m a year to turn the side into European challengers.

Money is unlikely to be an issue with Newcastle braced to become the richest club in the world.

But they still may want to save themselves a small fortune by biding their time and preventing Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy from lining his pockets.

Bruce is odds-on to lose his job once the Saudi takeover is completed

However, as revealed by SunSport, Newcastle's players are on an SOS mission to 'Save Our Steve'.

Bruce remains very popular among his squad who are determined to prove to the new owners that he should be kept on beyond this season.

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