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Unai Emery is now waiting for formal offer to arrive at Villarreal from Newcastle United

3 weeks ago
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Tuesday brought a media exclusive that Unai Emery was set to become the new Newcastle United manager if personal terms could be agreed.

The Athletic reported that negotiations were taking place and that: ‘The decision will ultimately come down to whether or not Newcastle are prepared to meet Emery’s personal terms and pay him the sort of salary he was earning at Arsenal.’

With a buyout clause in his three year deal (signed in summer 2020), Newcastle’s new owners would need to pay £5.1m (6m euros) to get Unai Emery released from his Villarreal contract.

That media exclusive was swiftly followed by reporting from regular NUFC journalists across the board, they had all clearly been briefed by somebody close to the potential Unai Emery deal. As they all had the same basics – that Emery (or his people?) had talked to the Newcastle United owners about a move – and personal terms still had to be agreed before any kind of deal could be finalised. More talks were to follow after the Champions League match on Tuesday (last) night, with Villarreal v Young Boys, potentially the former Arsenal and PSG manager’s last match in charge…

Former Watford midfielder 33 year old Etienne Capoue turned out to be the hero for Unai Emery and the Villarreal fans, as he scored in the first half and then assisted Arnaut Danjuma’s goal a minute from time, for a 2-0 win.

Man Utd got a very lucky 2-2 draw against Atalanta and that has left Villarreal top of the group on seven points, just ahead of Atalanta also on seven points, Man Utd six points and Young Boys with three.

With two games left to play, if Villarreal beat either Man Utd at home or Atalanta away, they will go through. They could also go through otherwise but that would involve Young Boys taking points off at least one of those other two clubs in their final pair of games.

Anyway, back to Unai Emery and Newcastle United…

Not surprisingly, when talking to the Spanish media after the game, it was little surprise what was top of the agenda, the manager’s future:

“I go to bed as the Villarreal coach and tomorrow I will wake up as the Villarreal coach.

“If there was any offer, it would be via the club. I am focused here on Villarreal.

“I am going to continue preparing for the Getafe game and that is the attitude that I am going to have.”

Unai Emery was asked what then if Newcastle United were to agree to pay the 6m euros [approx £5.1m] buyout clause in his Villarreal contract:

“If that was the hypothesis, I would speak with [Villarreal owner and president] Fernando Roig.

“I would consult first. 

“It is not that I close or open the door.

“To the interest [of Newcastle United] I have not said no.

“I would discuss it [any offer from Newcastle] with Fernando and the club, I can’t say anything more.

“My dedication is where I am.

 “There is no offer [as yet] and I am concentrated on Villarreal and I am happy.”

So, will Unai Emery become the next Newcastle United manager, or will he stay at Villarreal?

Impossible to say…

What last night’s post-match comments have told us is that:

On the one hand, Unai Emery is still the Villarreal manager, there hasn’t been a formal finalised offer from Newcastle United to either himself or the La Liga club.

On the other hand, Unai Emery did appear to clearly confirm that there has been definite interest from Newcastle United…and that if a formal finalised offer was made, then it would be considered by himself and Villarreal.

We have seen this so often in the past at so many clubs who end up looking for a new manager mid-season.

It is all smoke and mirrors and people on all sides saying whatever, either directly or indirectly through the media, with the potential new manager stuck in the middle, only able to say so much.

You are always going to get the manager in question saying how happy he is at his current club, that is a given.

What appears to have happened is that there has definitely been contact / talks with NUFC, although potentially that could have been with representatives rather than Unai Emery directly. Once again dancing with words, so that he (or any other manager in a similar position) can honestly say that HE hasn’t been in negotiations etc.

So now we wait to see if Newcastle United do approach Villarreal and make a formal offer, including willingness to pay the £5.1m buyout clause. So that as Unai Emery indicates, there would then be something to be said yes or no to.

However…reality surely is that in these cases, clubs only end up putting the formal (public) offer in (the same for player transfers) if they have first been given the green light by the manager / player (or their representatives) in question.

No club wanting to be seen so publicly going for somebody and making an offer, only to then fail.

Like the rest of you, I’m obviously not as confident now as I felt yesterday about the chances of Unai Emery becoming the next NUFC manager. However, I still think there is every chance that it could happen.

As I say above, normally once a public formal offer goes in, it is usually because they already know for sure that the answer will be positive.

So in my opinion, if a public formal offer does go in for Unai Emery from Newcastle, I think he will be on his way to Tyneside.

We await that offer…

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