Villarreal manager Unai Emery has revealed the reasoning behind his public rejection of Newcastle United in a recent interview.
Emery was well reported to be a target of Newcastle‘s when their managerial position became vacant. Indeed, the Magpies saw the Spaniard as an apt replacement for Steve Bruce.
Emery had managed in England previously, of course. He led Arsenal to a fifth-placed Premier League finish in the 2018/19 season.
He failed to reach the heights expected of him the following season, though. The manager was sacked by the Gunners in November 2019, with the side ninth in the league.
Emery has had success throughout his managerial career, either side of his term at Arsenal. He has won the Europa League four times, three times with Sevilla and once with Villarreal, as well as having won countless trophies in France with Paris Saint-Germain.
As such, Newcastle’s new ownership identified him as the right man to take control in their new era. Emery rejected the Magpies’ advances, though, and aired their interest publicly.
“There has been an interest from Newcastle, that is all. No offer yet, which will have to be to me and to the club. There is nothing else. Before saying yes or not, I will talk to club,” he said in November.
Indeed, it seemed strange that Emery would openly speak about potential negotiations with another club. He has since explained the decision for the rejection of Newcastle in an interview with Marca.
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“I brought it to the attention of Fernando Roig (Villarreal chief),” said Emery. “And I was sincere when the press asked me.
“And I said that a club like Newcastle had come and I said that I listened and made the decision. I was honest with the club, with the press and made the decision to stay with full transparency.
“It was settled and I am very happy at Villarreal. I think the club appreciated it. The wheel keeps turning and we are already in the quarters. But football has to go on.”
Emery preferred Villarreal stay
Of course, it seems that Emery preferred to continue in his role at Villarreal, rather than take up the job at Newcastle. The Spaniard reinforced the decision to remain with the yellow submarine.
“Sincerity is an important value,” added Emery. “In football I have always been sincere.
“I prefer to say things to the face. When a club like the one that came, was not more important than Villarreal, but in the context of what that club wants to be and they point it out to me, the first thing I did was listen.
At face value, it appears his decision was a good one, despite Newcastle having invested, and gotten themselves up to 14th in the Premier League.
In contrast, Villarreal are currently seventh in La Liga and are in the quarter finals of the Champions League.