A day after Emery revealed that he would not be leaving Villarreal to take charge of relegation-threatened Newcastle United, the club’s new owners moved on to Howe, who has been out of work for 15 months.
Talks are ongoing with Howe, who impressed the 19th-placed club’s owners in an interview during the recruitment process.
That thorough process had culminated in a move this week for Emery, who had indicated that he was ready to make the move ahead of Villarreal’s Champions League fixture against Young Boys on Tuesday night.
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Emery had ticked all the boxes for a powerful ownership group looking for an appointment for the short-term AND the long-term following the departure of head coach Steve Bruce last month.
However, Emery issued a statement on what was his 50th birthday revealing that he would stay in Spain.
“No matter how much noise there was yesterday in another country, there was transparency and loyalty within Villarreal and the Roig family (the club’s owners) and their staff,” said Emery, who led the club to victory in the Europa League last season.
"That’s maximum for me, and that’s most important for me. Villarreal’s my home, and I’m 100% committed to stay here.”
Emery opted to stay, so the club, which had been hoping to make an appointment ahead of Saturday’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium, quickly moved on to Howe, who left Bournemouth last year following the club’s relegation.
Howe doesn’t tick as many boxes as Emery, but his managerial CV is still impressive.
The 43-year-old – who rejected the Celtic job in May – took Bournemouth from the bottom of League Two to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.
What’s more, he did it all with an attractive brand of football – and he also kept the club in the top flight for five seasons.
Bournemouth fans sang: “We play from the back – with pace in attack.”
Howe, of course, worked with Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser during his time at Bournemouth, and he will know how to get the best out of them. No doubt Howe will also be excited at the prospect of working with Allan Saint-Maximin, such an influence on the pitch since his move from Nice two years ago.
Reinforcements, of course, are also needed. The January transfer window is also on the horizon, and, for once, the club, which is also looking to recruit a director of football, will be in a position to strengthen following the takeover, which ended Mike Ashley’s 14-year tenure as owner.
Yes, the position of United, without a win in any competition this season and six points adrift of safety, is worrying. A brutal run of games next month makes the immediate task even harder.
But Howe, unquestionably, won’t get a better opportunity to progress his managerial career given the wealth, and ambition, of the club’s new owners.