STEVE BRUCE is set to be named the new Newcastle manager by the end of the weekend.
SunSport understands the Sheffield Wednesday boss has agreed to take charge of his boyhood club.
And the Toon are now thrashing out compensation with the Owls so they can appoint Bruce as Rafa Benitez’s replacement.
SunSport revealed yesterday that the Geordie had held talks with Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley.
Sources claim their chat went well and that Bruce is “excited” about the St James’ Park job.
Bruce was at Hillsborough Thursday and has told Wednesday he wants to move to the Toon.
But his deal is unlikely to be signed off in time for him to travel with Newcastle Saturday to China.
The Toon are taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy and play Wolves in Nanjing on Wednesday.
Yet visas for China take at least 48 hours so Bruce will link-up with Newcastle late, if at all.
The ex-Sunderland manager, who is planning to move back to the region from his home in Cheshire, will bring in his Owls assistants Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence.
Bruce will be given more than £50million to spend this summer - with a striker his top priority.
But he has less than four weeks before the transfer window shuts, and the Toon are the only club in the Premier League yet to make a new signing.
Bruce will walk into a storm at St James’ with fans furious with owner Mike Ashley about his imminent appointment.
Yet he is confident he can cope with the criticism and believes this may be his last shot at landing his dream job.
MD Charnley has gone for Bruce after a number of other candidates - including Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieira and Roberto Martinez - turned him down.
Ex-Toon boss Sam Allardyce’s agent, Mark Curtis, was also sounded out by Charnley last week.
But Big Sam told talkSPORT: “They had a chat with my agent and as much as I respect Newcastle, Newcastle fans and Mike Ashley - it wasn’t for me.
“I politely said ‘no’ and moved on.
“That thing was in my mind - don’t go back.
“Maybe if it was the first time around, I’d have maybe jumped at it - but not now.
“I appreciated the offer. I was extremely surprised. I was very flattered that I was considered but it was about not going back.
“I had a think about it but it wasn’t something I thought about for too long.
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“I thought it would be better that I made a quick decision for everybody because they are in pre-season now, I would have had to have been there in a day.
“I never got to talk to Mike. It was just my agent contacted me.
“I had a quick think about it and a look at the situation and thanked them very much for contacting Mark, but it's not for me.”