Newcastle United are set to appoint Steve Bruce as manager and are hoping he will be able to join up with the team on their pre-season tour of China.
Sources at St James’ Park have indicated to Telegraph Sport that, barring any last-minute hitches, Bruce will be announced as Rafa Benitez’s replacement before the weekend.
It remains to be seen whether Bruce will be able to go on Newcastle’s pre-season trip to the Far East because of visa issues but if he can agree personal terms, the club will endeavour to ensure he is able to meet the players for the first time in China next week.
Newcastle, whose interest in Bruce was revealed by Telegraph Sport immediately after Benitez's departure was confirmed a fortnight ago, are still discussing compensation with Sheffield Wednesday regarding the release of the former Manchester United captain.
But the 58-year-old wants the job and feels he cannot resist the lure of the challenge on Tyneside.
A boyhood Newcastle fan, it is the job his parents, who died last year, always wanted Bruce to take and although he will walk into the eye of a storm on Tyneside he is ready to accept the criticism that will follow his appointment. Bruce alos spent two years with bitter rivals Sunderland between 2009-11.