Newcastle reportedly set to make huge salary offer to one of Europe's top-rated managers
Almost a week after Steve Bruce was officially confirmed to have left his role as Newcastle United manager, it appears that the Magpies' new owners are set to launch an audacious bid to lure Ajax boss Erik ten Hag to St. James' Park.
The club has appointed Bruce's former assistant Graeme Jones as interim manager, who is set to remain charge in charge of team affairs for Saturday's visit of Chelsea in the Premier League.
Beyond the weekend, though, Newcastle directors Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi are reportedly keen to install Ten Hag at the helm on a permanent basis - and are willing to make the Dutchman one of the league's highest-paid managers should he accept the post.
Newcastle set their sights on Ajax boss Ten Hag
A report from the Daily Mail suggests that the club have turned their attention to Ten Hag in their search for a new boss, despite having held talks with ex-Roma chief Paulo Fonseca last week.
Ten Hag has captured two Eredivisie titles during his time as Ajax manager - and also guided the club to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019.
It is widely anticipated that the 51-year-old will eventually go on to manage one of Europe's top clubs. The challenge for Newcastle chiefs will be convincing Ten Hag that the Magpies will shortly be considered in that bracket.
The man himself is seemingly in no rush to leave Ajax, either. He reportedly knocked back Tottenham over the summer when approached about a move to the Premier League - and could also prove a tough nut for Newcastle to crack.
Newcastle set to test Ten Hag's resolve with massive salary offer
The one significant weapon that the Magpies do have in their arsenal in their attempts to land Ten Hag, though, is a truckload of cash. Following their recent takeover, the club is now the richest in the world by some distance - and the Newcastle hierarchy is said to be happy to offer Ten Hag an eye-watering gross salary of £11 million per year to take the reigns at St. James' Park.
To illustrate how significant that sum is, only Pep Guardiola (£20m) and Jurgen Klopp (£15m) earn more on an annual basis.
You would also suspect that Ten Hag's compensation would increase if he were to achieve success in the north east.
Before any thoughts of glory can be entertained, though, Newcastle must lift themselves out of the Premier League's relegation zone. For all the optimism around the club at present, they have yet to secure a top-flight victory this season.
Time will tell if Ten Hag turns out to be the man to lead that recovery.