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Newcastle target Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus as Magpies near Saudi takeover

Newcastle are eyeing Flamengo manager Jorge Jesus to potentially take over from current boss Steve Bruce, Goal can confirm.

Current owner Mike Ashley is close to completing the sale of the team to Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which is headed up by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The reported £300 million ($375m) move would see Newcastle taken over by ownership with a huge amount of money available to spend, which has led to rumours of high-profile player bids and a new manager. 

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Newcastle are also considering a bid for ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, but Jesus is an appealing target due to his long managerial history in Europe and his recent success in Brazil with Flamengo.

Jesus led Flamengo to an historic double in 2019, winning the Brazilian league and the Copa Libertadores title. Flamengo became the first team to pull off the double since the Santos team led by Pele accomplished it in 1962 and 1963.

The 65-year-old currently has a contract through until June with Flamengo, with the Brazilian side hoping to lock him down until December 2021.

Jesus is open to extending his deal with Flamengo but is seeking a salary increase of 50 per cent, which could prove difficult for Flamengo as the club deals with the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jesus nearly took over Newcastle just last year as his new agent, Pini Zahavi, brought him an offer from the Magpies after the club had parted ways with Rafa Benitez. 

But the Portuguese manager chose to take over Flamengo instead, and the Premier League side opted to hire Bruce as their new boss. 

Jesus could now be more open to a move to Newcastle as the prospect of deep-pocketed new ownership means he could have the chance to build a side that could challenge for a European place.

Jesus began his coaching career in the early 1990s and has managed some of Portugal's biggest sides, including Braga, Benfica and Sporting CP.

The 65-year-old had a scare with the coronavirus last month, originally testing positive for Covid-19 before being subsequently cleared after taking another test .