Villarreal head coach Unai Emery confirmed Newcastle United’s interest in bringing him back to the Premier League, but he is yet to receive an offer.
Newcastle have reportedly made former Arsenal boss Emery their number one target to succeed Steve Bruce following the club’s takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Premier League outfit Newcastle, who have also been linked with former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, are understood to want Emery in place for Saturday’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Villarreal president Fernando Roig told Spanish broadcaster A Punt Media on Tuesday that Emery is “very happy” at the LaLiga side and Europa League champions, but conceded it would not be their decision should Newcastle pay his release clause.
Emery had said on Monday that he did not know anything about the potential move, however, added after Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Young Boys that contact had been made.
“The truth is that they have shown an interest in me, but I have no further news,” Emery said during his post-game news conference. “There is no offer. There have been no more steps.
“I am focused on Villarreal. It will have to be a contact between clubs. My idea is to be here on Sunday.”
It has been reported Newcastle will pay the stipulated €6million release clause on Wednesday, although Emery would not be drawn on the speculation.
“Well, first I would talk to the president. I neither close the door nor open it to Newcastle,” said Emery, who won three successive Europa League titles with Sevilla before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.
“I have not said no, but I would discuss it with Villarreal. I am very grateful. I cannot say anything more. We have already talked about noise. The first one who is uncomfortable is me, but we have been focused on the game.”
Emery led Villarreal to last season’s Europa League crown, beating Manchester United in a marathon penalty shoot-out in the final, earning them qualification for this term’s Champions League.
Villarreal are currently 13th in LaLiga, having managed one point from their past four league games, while they sit second in their Champions League group with seven points behind Manchester United on head-to-head.
— Villarreal CF English (@VillarrealCFen) November 2, 2021
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