Unai Emery rules himself out of Newcastle manager race as he reaffirms Villarreal commitment

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Unai Emery has publicly ruled himself out of the running to become Newcastle’s next manager as he reaffirmed his commitment to current employers Villarreal.

It had been widely reported on Tuesday that the former Arsenal boss was in talks over a return to the Premier League as the front runner to replace Steve Bruce, who was sacked by Newcastle last month following the Saudi Arabian-led takeover at St James’ Park.

It was even said that the Magpies hoped to appoint Emery before Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brighton, though later reports suggested that he had become uncertain over the club’s strategy with the intense speculation coming on the day of an important Champions League fixture against Young Boys of Switzerland.

Emery has now confirmed beyond doubt that he will be staying in LaLiga with Villarreal, whom he guided to Europa League glory last season.

“No matter how much noise there was yesterday in another country, within the club there was transparency and loyalty with the Roig family and with my squad, which is maximum and for me it is the most important thing,” Emery wrote on social media.

“Villarreal CF is my home and I am 100 per cent committed. Honestly, I am grateful for the interest of a great club, but even more grateful to be here and that is why I communicated to Fernando Roig my decision to want to continue being part of this project because of the commitment and respect that I perceive from the club and from my players, which is mutual and reciprocal.”

Speaking after Villarreal’s 2-0 win over Young Boys on Tuesday, Emery had confirmed there was interest from Newcastle but insisted no offer had been made and that he would have to speak to Villarreal first.

"The only certain thing is that Newcastle have shown an interest,” he said.

"But I have not had more news than that interest.

"There's no offer. The offer would have to be via the club. I am focused on Villarreal. No more than that.

"Before saying yes or not, I will talk to the club. I have not said 'no' to Newcastle."

Emery’s removal from the running appears to leave former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as the favourite to take the managerial reins on Tyneside.

Newcastle had also been strongly linked with ex-Roma boss Paulo Fonseca as they search for Bruce’s long-term successor.

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