Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce in Line for Black Cats Job; Bruce in Line for Black Cats Challenge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bruce in Line for Black Cats Job; Bruce in Line for Black Cats Challenge

Article excerpt

STEVE Bruce is set to resign as manager of Wigan Athletic, to pave the way for him to become Sunderland's next manager, writes STUART RAYNER.

Unless it becomes clear that Alan Shearer will not become Newcastle United's permanent boss, Bruce is expected to be installed at the Stadium of Light imminently. Wigan chairman

Dave Whelan has long been resigned to the fact that Bruce would eventually move to pastures new, and will not try to stand in his way. Whelan's primary objective will now be to negotiate a generous compensation package, with a fee of around pounds 5m set to be agreed.

For Bruce, joining Sunderland represents an opportunity to prove he can be as effective a manager working with a lavish transfer budget as he has been on a shoestring. The Black Cats' next manager is expected to be handed a transfer budget in the region of pounds 50m once minority shareholder Ellis Short completes his buy-out of the Drumaville Consortium in the

Turn to Page 61 coming weeks. Having being harshly nudged towards the exit door at Birmingham City 16 months ago - he jumped before he was pushed after the board dragged its heels over a new contract - the former Manchester United defender has earned a reputation as one of the country's brightest young managers. Roy Keane may not have been impressed by his old team-mate's failure to claim silverware in a managerial career which has already encompassed six clubs, but Bruce has been widely praised for taking the unglamorous Latics to within sight of Europa League qualification by Christmas despite a budget a fraction of the size of many of those clubs below Wigan in the table. But in January the 48-year-old was forced to sell star players Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios and now the season is over, the big clubs will be back for the rest of his leading lights, with Antonio Valencia and Paul Scharner set to depart. The latter may now be tempted by Sunderland, who have long admired the versatile Austrian. …

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