Newcastle had new boss in place before Unai Emery snub and Eddie Howe but deal ‘collapsed’

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Newcastle were reportedly in advanced talks to make Paulo Fonseca their new manager before the deal collapsed. That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, who has confirmed that Eddie Howe is now set to take over at St James’ Park as the Magpies finally look set to end their gruelling managerial search following the departure on Steve Bruce after the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham last month.

It’s not been an easy process for the new Newcastle hierarchy, who have had to deal with several bumps in the road.

Earlier this week, the club had hoped to appoint former Arsenal boss Unai Emery following successful talks and there was even optimism he could take charge of this Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brighton.

But intense media speculation on English shores was met with surprise in Spain, where it was news to Villarreal that Emery had plans to leave.

The Spaniard took charge of Tuesday night’s 2-0 Champions League win over Young Boys before being hounded by questions in interviews and his press conference.

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Emery then met with the Villarreal board to discuss his future before eventually reaffirming his commitment to the La Liga club.

He published a statement on Wednesday confirming that he will stay put at El Madrigal.

That catapulted Howe into pole position and now the former Bournemouth boss is set to succeed Bruce on Tyneside, as Romano confirmed.

The transfer expert also reports that Newcastle had a deal in place with former Roma boss Fonseca before the deal collapsed.

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Fonseca was understood to be one of the main contenders for the role before it all seemed to go quiet in regards to the Portuguese’s links to the club.

He impressed Amanda Staveley and the Newcastle hierarchy during discussions with the club and looked a certainty to get the job before the club opted to go in a different direction.

It’s a similar story for Fonseca, who is still yet to get his break in English football, after previously being close to landing the Tottenham job earlier this summer.

He met with Spurs technical director Fabio Paratici in Italy and was on the verge of becoming the new Tottenham boss before the club pulled the plug at the eleventh hour.

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The likes of Lucien Favre and Roberto Martinez were also understood to be under consideration at Newcastle.

But now Howe looks ready to dive into his next challenge after an extended break from the game.

The Englishman has been out of work since resigning from his position at Bournemouth after failing to beat the drop in 2020.

Howe drove the Cherries up to the Premier League from League Two, keeping them afloat for four consecutive seasons before eventually facing relegation to the Championship.

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