Newcastle United’s rich owners are having a much harder task than expected as they look to fill the club’s managerial vacancy. After several big names already passed on the opportunity to take over The Magpies, including Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez, the Premier League side now also received a rejection from Villareal’s Unai Emery.
Emery emerged as the frontrunner for the job in recent days, but the former Arsenal boss opted to take his name from the consideration on Wednesday. The Spaniard made his decision public, releasing a statement that said Villarreal is his “home” and that he is “fully committed” to the La Liga club.
Newcastle reportedly moved quickly to the next name on their list and have now focused on former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. The two sides are in advanced talks according to Football Insider, and Howe could be officially appointed in time to lead the club in Saturday’s Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Howe has a strong reputation in England after impressing with Bournemouth during his eight years in charge. He took over the club in 2012 and led the Cherries from League One to Premier League promotion in just three seasons. After spending five years in the top flight, Bournemouth was relegated to Championship following the 2019-20 season, causing the two sides to part ways on mutual agreement.
Howe has been jobless ever since despite being linked with several teams including Arsenal before the Gunners hired Mikel Arteta. He notably rejected the opportunity to take over Scottish powerhouse Celtic this past summer.