Former Newcastle defender Jose Enrique has urged the club’s owners to bring Antonio Conte to St James’ Park following the sacking of Steve Bruce.
The club announced this morning that Bruce had left by mutual consent.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, the former Spanish full-back reacted to the news and felt it was a move that needed to be done.
Enrique said: “I’m sad for him [Bruce]. He seems like a nice guy, from what I’ve heard about him from players who played under him, he’s a very nice guy.
“But it needed to be done. In the way the change in owners needed to be done because Mike Ashley wasn’t the right one for Newcastle and I think with Steve Bruce it’s the same.”
Enrique raves about Conte
With Bruce gone and Graeme Jones in interim charge for the foreseeable future, starting with Saturday’s clash against Crystal Palace, the Saudi-led consortium can focus their efforts on bringing in the right man to take the club forward.
Enrique is expecting a raft of top-class managers to be linked with the Magpies hot seat, but his mind is set. He wants Conte, who has won big titles with Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
Enrique said: “Will they go for someone like Steven Gerrard, Zinedine Zidane? My favourite would be Antonio Conte because of the experience he has of winning trophies and winning trophies in the Premier League – I would go for him.”
The man who made 119 appearances for the Geordies believes that bringing in Conte would be a massive statement of intent that would make big clubs in the Premier League stand up and take notice.
The 35-year-old concluded: “If they go for someone like that it would make a stamp on every club in the Premier League. It would say ‘look, we’ve come here to make Newcastle big.’ They deserve to be signing someone like Conte.
“You know in the January transfer window they’re going to go big. The most important thing in my opinion is if they sign someone new like Conte – let him sign the players that can build the club around Conte. At Liverpool they did it around Jurgen Klopp.
“I believe in the next three, four, five years we can talk about Newcastle competing where they deserve to be.”
Conte has won trophies everywhere he has gone, but unlike Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, Newcastle would be a project. We are not a club set up for overnight success, but if PIF can convince the 52-year-old to come to Tyneside, what a coup that would be.