Towards the middle of July, just after Rafa Benítez walked away from the job at Newcastle United, there was a lot of speculation about who could succeed him.
Steve Bruce had just resigned from his role at Sheffield Wednesday, and was comfortably in the driving seat to get the job he was finally offered (and took).
However, out of nowhere, a claim in the French press, from Le Progrès more precisely, reported Bruno Génésio was ‘already in Newcastle’ to take over as the club was ‘close to being sold to a Dubai billionaire’.
We raised an eyebrow or two at the article, especially since chatter around the St James’ Park side’s sale had quietened down around that time, but it seems all of it was true.
Now at Beijing Guoan in China, Génésio sat down with beIN Sports in France to discuss his situation, and talked about his failed move to the north of England and his subsequent trip out east.
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) September 30, 2019
He said: “Everything went really quickly, because I was meant to sign with Newcastle, but the sale then fell through. I then decided to take some time off for myself, but towards the end of July, I received a phone call from my agents with an opportunity to go manage in China at Beijing Guoan.
“It just all went quickly. Forty-eight hours later I was on a plane, and four days later I was on the touchline for my first game”.
Since taking over, Génésio has managed to close the gap between Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande from seven to one point with five games to go.
As for Newcastle, they currently sit 19th in the Premier League with Steve Bruce in charge, picking up five points from their first seven games.