Football

Mourinho could build a winning Newcastle team in no time: Danny Mills

If there is a manager who can take Newcastle United to glory sooner rather than later, it would be Jose Mourinho.

That's what former England international Danny Mills said on talkSPORT, in the light of Steve Bruce's imminent exit following the takeover at the club.

The Magpies begin their new era under Saudi ownership when they host Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park on Sunday, with Bruce having been made several bookmakers' favourite for the sack ahead of his 1,000th game as manager.

The Magpies are second from bottom in this season's English Premier League, still winless after seven games.

Following years of dismal showing, they are set for a massive cash injection after owner Mike Ashley sold the club in a £300 million (S$553.3m) deal to a consortium led by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

It's the latest Middle East power to buy over a football club, which started with the Abu Dhabi group's takeover of Manchester City in 2008.

But the first English Premier League title did not arrive at the Etihad till 2012.

Former City defender Mills said: "Newcastle can go slowly and survive this season, next season finish in the top half, then top six.

"But if they want to jump from survival to top four, I don't see anyone better out there than Mourinho to do that."

The Portuguese manager is no stranger to English football, having won three EPL titles in two stints with Chelsea. He also won the Europa League and League Cup with Manchester United and more recently coached Tottenham Hotspur before taking over AS Roma.

While there have also been other names linked to the hot seat, Sky Sports reported that Leicester City's Brendan Rodgers has ruled himself out of the job.

Former Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is now among the leading candidates to replace Bruce, but Mills believes Mourinho is the man to be trusted with a spending spree.

"He could put a team together next week that will be successful, he could do it in the January transfer window," said Mills.

"The football might not be brilliant, but he'll get you winning games - that's for sure."

Football