Sheffield Wednesday fans will hope it’s not a case of third time lucky for Newcastle United in the Premier League club’s alleged pursuit of Steve Bruce.
The Telegraph reports Bruce is being considered as a possible successor to Rafa Benitez at Newcastle, after the Spaniard decided not to renew his contract.
The Sheffield Wednesday manager grew up supporting the Magpies from Corbridge, Northumberland.
But his affection for the Tyneside club was not enough to prevent him from twice turning them down in the past – once after their iconic ex-boss, Sir Bobby Robson, was sacked – according to The Express.
Speaking in 2010 as manager of Newcastle’s north-east rivals, Sunderland, Bruce explained via the newspaper: “I turned down the Newcastle job (in 2004) because it wasn’t right.
“Instead, I took a hell of a risk in going to Wigan when they had just eights points at the time that the Chinese were going into Birmingham.
“I’m a big believer in what will be, will be and while it was tough, it just didn’t feel right. It should have been the other way.”
Bruce also ruled himself out of contention for the Newcastle vacancy that emerged in 2014, telling The Telegraph: “People know that I am from Newcastle, I was a Newcastle supporter as a boy and it has been regurgitated since I was a 22-year-old playing for Norwich and Gillingham.
“For that obvious reason every time I am linked with them. It’s very flattering as I’m a Geordie but that’s it.
“I have a job to do here and it would be wrong for me to think of anything else other than get this club out of the position we are in and that’s all I am focused on.
“It would be wrong for the speculation to keep carrying on for the club, for the supporters, for the players.
“I am determined to see this through and make sure we stay in the Premier League and build on the good work we have done in the last two-and-a-half years.
“I have had three offers in the two-and-a-half years I have been here and I have turned them all down so I think the chairman knows the way I feel and why would I want to leave now? It’s not right, and I hope people respect that.”
Whether or not Newcastle will make an approach for Bruce remains to be seen, although given Sheffield Wednesday’s tough stance on player sales under Dejphon Chansiri, the 58-year-old could prove difficult to prise away from Hillsborough.