Mon. May 16th, 2022

Sky Sports

Former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery won the Europa League with Villarreal last season; Newcastle will have to pay £6m in compensation to get Emery; Steve Bruce was relieved of his duties at St James’ Park 13 days after Saudi Arabia-backed £305m takeover of Newcastle last month

Unai Emery has confirmed Newcastle United’s interest in him becoming their new manager but says no official offer has been made yet.

The Spaniard is the leading candidate to succeed Steve Bruce at St James’ Park and talks have taken place between Emery and the club’s hierarchy over the past 48 hours, with more negotiations scheduled for Wednesday as Newcastle close in on their No 1 target.

The former Arsenal head coach is currently managing Villarreal, and it is thought that while he is happy at the Spanish club – where he has a €6m (£5.1m) release clause in his contract – he is open to hearing what Newcastle have to say.

Speaking after leading his Villarreal side to a 2-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, Emery said: “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 the club.”

However, earlier on Tuesday Villarreal president Fernando Roig refuted any such links, saying: “I’m sure that his mind is not drifting elsewhere.

“I know Unai has a contract with us and contracts are there to be fulfilled. We hope that we will be able to see that contract through until the end.”

Newcastle want to have a manager in place by the weekend, ahead of their game away at Brighton and there is a feeling Emery has unfinished business in the Premier League since he was sacked by Arsenal in 2019.

Emery was appointed Villarreal manager in July 2020 and led them to the Europa League title last season, beating Manchester United on penalties in the final.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

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