Newcastle United: Unai Emery to reject Newcastle interest – Guillem Balague

Newcastle United: Unai Emery to reject Newcastle interest – Guillem Balague


Unai Emery
Unai Emery won the Europa League with Villarreal in May, beating Manchester United on penalties

Unai Emery will turn down the chance to become manager of Newcastle United and will instead stay with Villarreal, reports Guillem Balague.

The ex-Arsenal boss confirmed on Tuesday he had been approached by the Premier League club, who made him their first choice to replace Steve Bruce.

Sources close to Emery indicate he felt the new Magpies ownership lacked a clear vision for the club.

Newcastle had hoped to have the Spaniard in place by the weekend.

But Balague reports those advising Emery were left feeling uncertain about the club’s strategy, with stories in England emerging that the shortlist was down to him and ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe – two men with contrasting approaches and vastly different levels of experience within European football.

“Emery felt a huge pressure on the day of their match [a 2-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday],” said Balague.

“And then there was the lack of a clear vision from the club. If you want him, do you approach him in such a rushed way, without an official offer and with it coming out from the English side that it is all practically done?

“I don’t see this move happening now this season. Maybe next year when the club’s structure is clearer and the vision more defined.”

Emery, 50, was really interested in taking charge of Newcastle following the Saudi Arabia-backed £305m takeover which has made them one of the richest clubs in world football.

But when he met with Villarreal’s owners, the Roig family, they attempted to convince him to stay. The club’s players did likewise and his family also told him it was not the right time to move to St James’ Park.

As well as talking to Howe, Newcastle have also held discussions with ex-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca.

Balague reports that the Magpies have previously made approaches for new Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, Barcelona legend Xavi and ex-Germany manager Joachim Low but all have turned the opportunity down.

In a press conference earlier on Tuesday, Villarreal president Fernando Roig said he was not worried about the interest in Emery and was “sure that his mind is not drifting elsewhere”.

“Unai has a contract with us and contracts are there to be fulfilled,” Roig said. “We hope that we will be able to see that contract through until the end. I have no doubts about his professionalism in that respect.”

Emery won the Europa League last season, beating Manchester United on penalties in the final in May.

Before his appointment at Villarreal, he had an 18-month spell in charge of Arsenal before being sacked in November 2019.

In three years at Sevilla from 2013-16 he claimed three back-to-back Europa League titles and then joined Paris St-Germain, where he won Ligue 1 and two French Cups.

Former manager Bruce left Newcastle by mutual consent on 20 October, with interim boss Graeme Jones taking charge of the team for the last two matches, a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace and subsequent 3-0 home defeat by Chelsea.

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