Villarreal manager Unai Emery has confirmed that Newcastle have approached him about becoming their new manager.
The Magpies look to be finally closing in on appointing a new coach following Steve Bruce’s exit. Several names, such as Lucien Favre‘s, have come and gone. However, links with Emery – which began earlier this week – have stuck.
Despite Villarreal’s president pouring cold water on the talk of Emery’s exit, Newcastle reportedly feel confident that they can lure the former Arsenal boss to St James’ Park.
Board member Amanda Staveley sped up talks with Emery on Sunday. As such, she feels that she can snap him up in time for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brighton.
Emery has remained largely quiet on the situation – until now. Speaking after his Villarreal side beat Young Boys 2-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday, he confirmed Newcastle’s interest.
However, he insisted that the talks have not yet progressed to an advanced stage and he has not decided on his future.
“We play against Getafe on Sunday and this victory will help us,” Emery told his post-match press conference (via the Daily Express).
“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.
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“I have not said ‘no’ to Newcastle… If this gets confirmed I will talk to Villarreal directors about it… I can’t add anything else…
“I am thankful to Villarreal, I have spoken to Fernando Roig (president) and told him that there is interest, but no offer yet.”
Newcastle reportedly have the option to pay the La Liga side a £6million compensation package to prise Emery away.
Asked about the potential of that happening, the manager said: “In light of this hypothesis, I would speak with Roig. He would have respect for the squad and the club.”
Newcastle told Emery pursuit will fail
According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, though, Emery will stay at Villarreal.
The reporter told BBC Sport: “Emery felt a huge pressure on the day of their match [against Young Boys].
“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.”
Newcastle currently sit 19th in the Premier League table and are without a win in 10 games.