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Steve Bruce is open to an approach from Newcastle United to be Rafael Benítez’s successor, with the 58-year-old on the club’s shortlist.

Bruce is Sheffield Wednesday’s manager but it is understood he would consider taking over his hometown team. The former Sunderland manager is due to return to England on Wednesday from his club’s pre-season tour of Portugal and Newcastle are thought to be considering an approach.

Newcastle have been unsure regarding Bruce’s prospective candidacy, assessing whether he is a safe pair of hands rather a manager who can revitalise the club. There was also concern regarding how supporters might greet his appointment.

Yet Mike Ashley, the owner, is an admirer of Bruce and these doubts appear to have been allayed so, should there be an approach, Bruce would seriously consider taking the job. He was appointed by Wednesday in January.

On Tuesday Bruce told the Sheffield Star he was unaware of any interest from Newcastle. “As far as I am concerned, I am here [in Portugal], and looking forward to walking the dog,” he said.