Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery confirms Newcastle approach - but Villarreal expect him to turn down move

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former Arsenal manager Unai Emery has confirmed Newcastle have approached him about replacing Steve Bruce.

But it has been reported in Spain that his present club Villarreal have held what they believe were positive talks with Emery last night and expect him to turn down a move to St James' Park.

Newcastle’s new owners have made their first major statement of intent with a move to bring Emery back to the Premier League on a reported deal worth over £7million a year.

Emery guided Villarreal to their Europa League triumph last season and has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed Bruce.

Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is also under consideration for the Newcastle job.

It has been reported that Newcastle want to have Emery in place to be in charge of their Premier League game away to Brighton on Saturday.

But reports in Spain claim Villarreal are confident he will stay.

Speaking after guiding his Villarreal side to a 2-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League last night, Emery said: "There has been an interest from Newcastle, that is all.

“But I have not had more news than that interest. There is no offer. The offer would have to be via the club. I am focused on Villarreal. No more than that.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Villarreal president Fernando Roig dismissed any links between Emery and Newcastle, saying: "I am 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.”

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