Perhaps it's simply the prospect of having a manager who may have thought his top flight days were over and supported the club as a boy - and therefore won't push back as much as Benitez did - that appeals. He's now trading at 1/5 (-500) with the top bookies.
Both Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta were frontrunners for the post but were said to have been dissuaded by Benitez from taking the job under Ashley's ownership.
Amazingly, there appears to be a staggering lack of options for Ashley to go for here.
His time at the Black Cats included a 5-1 derby defeat at St James' Park, although he secured a 10th-place Premier League finish for the Black Cats at the end of the 2010-11 season, the club's highest since the Peter Reid era. "If you shout, he has to shout too, and you have to trust that he's getting across what you want".
Though Bruce won't be a popular appointment.
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The 58-year-old has also endured a string of stints at Championship sides in recent seasons - to varying success.
Newcastle are prepared to pay £1million in compensation to land the ex-Aston Villa boss out of his one-year rolling deal at the Owls.
"There seemed to be an upsurge in the betting from somewhere", Bruce said on Tuesday.
"I was very flattered that I was considered but it's that thing - don't go back", Allardyce told Talksport.
"I must say that I have had more meetings with the chairman, the president and the general manager this week than I had in three years at Newcastle".
"It never got to the type of talks people are suggesting but it wasn't for me".