Unai Emery hails Newcastle United as a 'great club' as he confirms Villarreal stay

Unai Emery has confirmed he is staying at Villarreal – snubbing interest from Newcastle United.

The former Arsenal boss emerged as the new owners’ number one choice for the vacant managerial role and there was confidence a deal could be agreed on Tuesday morning.

As the news of Emery’s potential arrival broke in England, the 50-year-old had been preparing for Villarreal’s Champions League group game with BSC Young Boys, which they won 2-0.

Following conflicting reports in Spain, Emery revealed after the game he had received an approach from Newcastle but in a short statement on Wednesday afternoon confirmed his intention to remain with the La Liga club.

Unai Emery has announced he is staying at Villarreal. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

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Emery said: "As much noise as there was yesterday in another country, within the club there was transparency and loyalty with the Roig family and with my staff, which is maximum and for me is the most important. Villarreal CF is my home and I am 100% 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, how mutual and reciprocal.

“I want to thank the fans for the support they have always shown me. On Sunday we have a very important game and I hope that together we can achieve victory. See you at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

“Thank you, groguets! Endavant!”

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Newcastle could now turn their attention towards appointing former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

Howe, who has been out of work since August 2020, has been interviewed for the job and is said to have impressed the new owners.

The 43-year-old famously led the Cherries from League Two to the Premier League before suffering relegation in his final season.

It was hoped a new manager could be finalised before Saturday evening’s clash at Brighton and Hove Albion, however the Emery blow could delay proceedings.

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If not, Graeme Jones will carry on as interim head coach, just over two weeks since Steve Bruce was relieved of his duties.

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