Unai Emery turns down chance to be next Newcastle United manager

Spanish coach commits his future to La Liga club with struggling Magpies set to turn their attentions to Howe and Fonseca

Unai Emery has turned down the chance to be the next manager of Newcastle United and said he is '100 per cent committed' to his current job at Villarreal.

The Spaniard had been lined up by Newcastle to replace Steve Bruce at St James' Park following his exit from the Tyneside club last month.

Emery, who previously managed in the Premier League with Arsenal in 2018-19, confirmed after Villarreal's Champions League victory over Young Boys on Tuesday that there had been interest from the English outfit.

Newcastle's Saudi-backed new owners had hoped to have the 50-year-old appointed in time for Saturday's Premier League game away to Brighton.

But in a statement released on Instagram on Wednesday, Emery said: “For all the noise there was yesterday in another country, within the club there has been transparency and loyalty with the Roig family, that for me is most important.

“Villarreal is my home and I am 100 per cent committed to the club.

“Honestly, I am grateful for the interest shown by a great club but am also even more grateful to stay here, and I have communicated to Fernando Roig my decision to want to continue as part of this project and for the commitment and respect that I have received from the club and my players, it is mutual and reciprocated.

“I also want to show gratitude for the love and support that has always been shown to me. This Sunday we have a very important game [against Getafe in La Liga] and I hope that together we can achieve victory, We will see you in the Estadio Ceramica.”

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The Spaniard took over at Villarreal in July 2020, eight months after being sacked by Arsenal following a poor run of results.

Emery led Villarreal to their first major trophy when they beat Manchester United in the Europa League final last season, but the team have struggled in La Liga so far this campaign and are 13th in the table.

The decision, though, will be a big blow to Newcastle who now look set to shift their focus on to former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and Paulo Fonseca, who left Serie A side Roma in May.

Bruce's former assistant Graeme Jones has taken over as interim manager for the two most recent games and saw them draw 1-1 at Crystal Palace and then lose 3-0 at home to Chelsea on Saturday.

After the Chelsea defeat, Jones admitted that the club — which sits second bottom of the Premier League table having yet to win a game in 10 attempts this season — is facing a fight to avoid the drop and encouraged the new owners to make a quick appointment.

“We're in a relegation battle. There's no question about that,” Jones said. “We need to face it like men, stick together and believe we'll come through. I think it needs a fresh face.”

Updated: November 3rd 2021, 2:30 PM
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