Steve Bruce and his staff are due to fly out to China to meet up with the Newcastle United players, who open their Premier League Asia Trophy campaign against Wolves in Nanjing on Wednesday morning.

The new head coach said: "I'm delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United.

"This is my boyhood club and it was my dad's club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.

"There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it's one that my staff and I are ready for.

"We'll roll our sleeves up and we'll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of."

Bruce's arrival is unlikely to placate fans still fuming at Benitez's exit a little more than three years after the club failed to agree a contract extension with the 59-year-old Spaniard, who has since taken over at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.

However, managing director Lee Charnley was delighted to have got his man after lengthy negotiations with the Owls over a compensation package.

Charnley said: "Steve has a deep affection for Newcastle United and we are very pleased that a coach with his vast experience and connections to the club and city has joined us.

"Steve knows what this club means to supporters and to the region and he will put his heart and soul into leading our talented group of players with the full support of our staff.

"The hard work for Steve and his team starts immediately and we will be fully prepared for the challenge of a new Premier League season."