Mauricio Pochettino ready-made for new-look Newcastle: Warren Barton, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Mauricio Pochettino ready-made for new-look Newcastle: Warren Barton

Former Newcastle United defender Warren Barton believes Mauricio Pochettino is the man to take the Magpies to the next level.

The club are on the verge of a £300 million (S$527.8m) takeover, backed by the mega-rich Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Sky Sports reported that incumbent manager Steve Bruce will be given until the end of the season to prove himself, even as Eurosport France reported that Pochettino, Rafael Benitez, Massimiliano Allegri and Lucien Favre are on the prospective owners' shortlist.

While Barton praised Bruce, who has steered the club to 13th in the English Premier League before the season was suspended last month, he can't help but feel that Pochettino is "ready-made" for the project.

"With all due respect to Steve, and I've got a lot of respect for him, he's not one of the top-level coaches around the world," he told talkSPORT .


"He's always done reasonably well in the Premier League and Championship but, if you want someone to take you to that next level, I think Pochettino would tick all the boxes.

"He's ambitious, he's great with young players, he understands the Premier League… and I think he's got a chip on his shoulder now to come back and prove people wrong.

"I think he is ready-made for the club, and his hunger to be successful will go right the way through the club and the fans."

While Newcastle are set for a massive cash injection, Barton feels their ideal first signing could come free - in the form of Chelsea winger Willian, who is out of contract in the summer.

He added: "The academy needs looking after and a reboot, and going forward now looking at players like Willian who is up for a free transfer. They are the type of players that you need, to bed them in and mix experienced and younger players.

"And Pochettino is great at doing that. He would be an ideal choice going forward."

Another former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has urged the club to stick with Bruce.

Allardyce told talkSPORT: "I've experienced new takeovers twice - once at Blackburn and once under Mike (Ashley). I wasn't his man and I can understand that. Steve must be very worried from that point of view..."

Benitez, who left St James' Park in the summer to join China's Dalian Yifang, after a fallout with the Newcastle board, could be another option.

The Toon Army favourite, who guided Newcastle to 10th and 13th in the last two EPL seasons, has been installed as the bookmakers' top choice.

But Allardyce insisted that Newcastle played such negative football under the Spaniard, it was "unbelievable".