Unai Emery to ‘reject Newcastle’ after fears over club owners’ ‘vision’

Steve Bruce leaves position as Newcastle head coach

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Unai Emery will reportedly reject the chance to become Newcastle United’s new manager due to concerns over the club’s long-term vision. Emery looked poised to succeed Steve Bruce as Newcastle boss on Tuesday, but it seems the Spaniard has had second thoughts and will now stay at Villarreal.

Newcastle have been hunting for a new ever since the takeover, led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, went through on October 7.

Bruce was sacked on October 20, leaving assistant Graeme Jones in temporary charge while Amanda Staveley and her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi, who represent PCP Capital Partners of the ownership consortium, search for a new manager.

That process has dragged on, but appeared to have taken a decisive step on Tuesday when reports emerged stating Newcastle were confident Emery would be in charge before the club’s Premier League game against Brighton on Saturday.

However, it seems that confidence was misplaced, with BBC Sport reporting that a ‘lack of a clear vision from the club’ had given Emery cold feet.

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Newcastle’s strategy was questioned by Emery’s advisors after they learnt the club’s shortlist was down to the former Arsenal boss and Eddie Howe.

The differences between Emery and the ex-Bournemouth manager concerned the Spaniard, who held constructive talks with Villarreal president Fernando Roig after their 2-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Emery addressed the Newcastle interest in his post-match interview.

“The only thing that is true is that I have been told of their interest and I pretty much don’t have more news than that,” he told Movistar.

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“There is no offer, which in any case would have to come via the club. So there’s no more beyond that [which would make] me say I’m going.”

He added: “I do not open or close the door. I am waiting and I would talk to Fernando [Roig] and the club, for whom I have respect. My dedication is where I am.”

Emery is under contract with Villarreal until the summer of 2023 and Roig was confident of his position before Tuesday’s match.

“I have absolutely no idea,” said the Villarreal chief of Emery’s Newcastle links. “What I do know is that he has a contract with us and contracts are there to be fulfilled.

“I expect Unai’s professionalism and I have no doubt about that.”

As well as talking to Howe and Emery, Newcastle have also held discussions with former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca.

Meanwhile, BBC Sport reports that the club also approached Antonio Conte, Barcelona legend Xavi and ex-Germany manager Joachim Low. All three turned down the offers.

Conte was appointed as Tottenham manager on Tuesday, while Xavi is expected to leave Qatari club Al Sadd to become Ronald Koeman’s successor at Barca.

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