A formal approach for the Sheffield Wednesday boss was made on Wednesday after Sam Allardyce rejected the chance to return to St James' Park.
One of Ashley's first decisions after acquiring the club in 2007 was sacking the unpopular Allardyce, who joined before his takeover was completed.
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.
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"I must say that I have had more meetings with the chairman, president and general manager this week than I had in three years at Newcastle". I never got to talk to Mike Ashley. My agent contacted me, I had a think about it and a quick look at the situation and thanked them very much but (it's) not for me.
It remains to be seen whether Bruce will be able to go on Newcastle's pre-season trip to the Far East because of visa issues but if he can agree personal terms, the club will endeavour to ensure he is able to meet the players for the first time in China next week. I appreciate the offer, but I was surprised, I've not worked for a full season.
"I had a think about it, but it wasn't something I thought about too long. We're in pre-season now and they're back in training".
To date, he's coached seven Premier League clubs and never suffered relegation.
The Telegraph claim talks are at an advanced stage and that Bruce could be announced as the Magpies' new boss as early as Friday.