Newcastle United are interested in appointing Unai Emery as their new manager, according to the Spaniard.
Newcastle began conversations with Emery’s agents over the weekend and appear to have chosen him as their preferred successor to Steve Bruce, although Emery has insisted that no offer has been made.
“Newcastle have shown an interest but I’ve been thinking about the game all day,” Emery told a press conference after Villarreal’s Champions League win over Young Boys on Tuesday.
“There’s no offer. The offer would have to be via the club. I am focused on Villarreal. No more than that.
“If there is an offer, I would speak with the president about it. I’m not closing or opening any doors.”
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Emery’s comments come after Villarreal president Fernando Roig stated that he has not received any communication from Newcastle over his head coach.
Roig spoke to the Spanish media both before and after the game, denying that an official approach had been made.
“I have absolutely no idea [about any approach]. What I do know is that he has a contract with us and contracts are there to be fulfilled. I have no doubts about Unai’s professionalism,” Roig said on Movistar.
In a thinly veiled attack at the riches on offer in the Premier League, he added: “The important thing is that fans can’t be bought. They don’t go to Newcastle or Manchester United.
“Loads and loads of players and coaches have been and gone and you’re always prepared for what might come. We fans are always here. What matters is that the feeling for Villarreal remains.
“We picked Emery, as we pick all our coaches because we believed he would play good football. Winning the Europa League gave us greater visibility. And it put us in the Champions League.”
Newcastle are slated to face Brighton this weekend, with interim head coach Graeme Jones in charge, but the club believes their new manager will be named before the game.