As imaginations run wild on Tyneside following Mike Ashley selling Newcastle to the Saudis, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard quickly flew to the top of many people’s shortlist to replace Steve Bruce in the St. James’ Park dugout and, while Gerrard isn’t going to be the next Magpies manager, he could still quit Ibrox in the summer.
After running his football club in the same haphazard manner that is familiar to anyone who has shopped in one of Mike Ashley’s sports jumble sales, it was little shock to see the euphoria that followed confirmation that the sale to Saudi Arabia’s investment company had been completed.
The debate about the morals of Newcastle’s new owners is for another day but it speaks volumes that Newcastle city centre resembled Edinburgh’s Princes Street on Hogmanay hours after news broke of Ashley’s exit.
While most people expect Newcastle to spend like money is going out of fashion, the superstars of the game aren’t suddenly going to be swapping walks by the Seine for strolls by the Tyne.
There will be plenty of spending though over the coming years and, in time, nobody will be surprised if Newcastle follow the same path as Chelsea and Man City after foreign billionaires ploughed their money in.
Like City and Chelsea though, the first manager to get the benefit of the new bank balance isn’t going to be the one who will eventually hold the Premier League title aloft.
Just as with Mark Hughes and Claudio Ranieri, it will be the manager who follows their reign in the hotseat that will likely be the one that ends the Magpies long trophy drought – which is exactly why Gerrard isn’t walking out on Rangers to take over at Newcastle.
But midway through his fourth season in charge at Ibrox, there’s a real sense that this ‘cycle’ is coming to a natural conclusion and there is going to be a fairly sizeable rebuild at Rangers over the next 18 months or so.
Gerrard could well decide that he is indeed the man to lead that and build another side capable of lifting the title and challenging for Champions League progress, shaping a side around the likes of Nathan Patterson and Robby McCrorie.
The expectancy that Gerrard will take charge at Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp’s contract ends in 2024 means there’s still another 12-15 months before the Anfield side realistically start planning their next move – and Klopp’s insistence that he won’t renew leaves the path open for Gerrard to make the return he craves.
But will he stick around at Ibrox for another year once the curtain comes down on the current season?
Only Gerrard knows the answer to that one just now but it wouldn’t come as anything of a surprise if he decided to quit Ibrox and take a year away from football before returning to the one place he will call home over Ibrox.