Newcastle United's hopes of appointing Antonio Conte as their new manager were nothing more than a "pipe dream", according to journalist Paul Brown.
The claim comes after respected transfer guru Fabrizio Romano suggested Conte was an 'impossible' target.
What's the latest news involving Conte?
Conte was unveiled as Tottenham Hotspur's new head coach earlier this week, with the Italian penning an 18-month deal which has the option of being extended by a further year.
His arrival in north London came after Spurs sacked Nuno Espirito Santo just 124 days on from his appointment.
Conte has headed to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after it had initially been reported that the 52-year-old was open to discussing taking over at Manchester United if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been axed.
What has Paul Brown said about Conte's links to Newcastle?
Brown insists a deal to take Conte, who has won six league titles during his managerial career, to St James' Park always appeared to be unlikely.
He feels Newcastle have been sensible in their search for Bruce's replacement at the helm.
Brown told GIVEMESPORT: "They probably have gone for the right types of manager.
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"They have not gone for the absolute top tier level of manager.
"You're not going to get an Antonio Conte, for instance, to go to Newcastle. That was always a total pipe dream."
How has Newcastle's managerial search played out?
Eddie Howe is expected to be appointed as Newcastle's new boss after agreeing a two-and-a-half year deal in principle.
It comes after The Athletic journalist David Ornstein had reported that Villarreal chief Unai Emery was the leading contender to take over the St James' Park reins, with Howe seen as an alternative option.
However, Newcastle's new owners suffered a heavy blow after Emery took to social media to confirm he would be staying with Villarreal rather than quitting in favour of a move to Tyneside.
It led to the Magpies receiving criticism, with Telegraph reporter Luke Edwards claiming Emery's rejection was 'embarrassing' for the newly in-place consortium.
Howe's imminent arrival comes after he has been out of work for more than a year, with the 43-year-old's last job coming at Bournemouth.News Now - Sport News