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New Newcastle owners target Pochettino, Allegri, Cavani - sources

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Hislop 'excited' about pending Newcastle takeover (2:15)

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Shaka Hislop is optimistic about the club's future as a takeover appears close. (2:15)

Newcastle's prospective new owners will go after a big-name manager with Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino among their preferred candidates and Edinson Cavani a transfer target, sources have told ESPN.

Paperwork is being finalised for the sale after an agreement was found on Monday between Mike Ashley and PCP Capital Partners, the Saudi-backed consortium.

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Despite reports suggesting Steve Bruce will have time to prove himself, sources have told ESPN the owners want a more high-profile name for next season, with four leading contenders: Pochettino, Allegri, Rafael Benitez and Lucien Favre.

Benitez and Favre are in jobs, with Dalian Yifang FC and Borussia Dortmund respectively, while Pochettino and Allegri are not in work. The new owners believe they can put together an offer and project to attract any of their targets, like Everton did with Carlo Ancelotti.

There have been frequent meetings over video messaging service Zoom over the past few weeks, Allegri joining Pochettino on the new owners' shortlist, though the former Tottenham manager is the No. 1 target.

To improve their chances of attracting a top-level manager, the owners will have to show their ambitions of recruiting big players. They are working with top agents in Europe and are interested in big-name players out of contract this summer, with a striker their main target.

Sources have told ESPN they have already been in touch with the agents of Napoli forward Dries Mertens and Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani. Chelsea's Willian is another target, though they are aware signing any of the trio will be challenging.

An official announcement regarding the sale of the Premier League club will be made soon, sources have told ESPN.Contracts have been exchanged between the two parties and a deposit paid. The next step will be for the consortium to pass the Premier League's Owners and Directors test.

Following that, the remainder of the £300 million to buy the club will be transferred. Yasir Al Rumayyan, a close friend of Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, will be the new chairman.