Newcastle United have discussed appointing former Arsenal manager and current Villarreal boss Unai Emery as their next head coach, once Steve Bruce is fired, as per the Daily Mail.
Bruce is on borrowed time at St James’ Park following last week’s Saudi-led takeover of the Tyneside outfit. But he will likely take charge on Sunday when Tottenham Hotspur visit the North-East, as the Toon’s new ownership take a ‘process-driven’ approach to their tenure.
Their delay in relieving Bruce of his duties is in order to make the right choices, rather than a U-turn. Yet, as of Thursday, are also yet to negotiate the exact terms of his expected £8m pay-off to walk away. Likely leaving the Magpies after two-years at the helm.
Emery among next Newcastle manager candidates
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Amanda Staveley have hired ex-Liverpool chief scout Frank McParland to search for Bruce’s replacement. Among the many potential hires currently being discussed include Belgium boss Roberto Martinez and Villarreal’s Emery.
However, the Daily Mail claim both, Martinez and Emery, have reservations over being the next Newcastle manager after Bruce. Emery returned to Spain in 2020 after one-and-a-half years with Arsenal, and led El Submarino Amarillo to the Europa League title last season.
Villarreal beat Manchester United on penalties to lift the trophy at Stadion Gdansk in May. The Estadio de la Ceramica side also ended his debut season at the helm seventh in La Liga. But the eastern Spain outfit currently only sit 11th in the standings after seven games.
Should Emery replace Bruce at St James’ Park?
Newcastle hiring Emery as their next manager after Bruce could surprise some supporters given his Arsenal tenure. The 49-year-old – who had won three Europa Leagues with Sevilla – only won 25 of 51 Premier League games in charge.
The Gunners also conceded 70 goals to 91 scored under the Spaniard in the top-flight over one-and-a-half seasons. Additionally, his Emirates Stadium spell ended with just two wins in 11 league games, including defeat at Sheffield United.
Emery’s stay in the English capital had started brighter, with Arsenal winning 10 of their first 16 under his leadership. Including a 14-game unbeaten run, after losing to Manchester City and Chelsea to kick things off.
Gunners icon Ian Wright was full of praise for now-Newcastle candidate Emery at the end of that run. He said on BBC’s Match of the Day in December 2018, via football.london: “He’s a genius, he’s not afraid to make changes. [Arsene] Wenger used to make changes around the 70-minute mark, Emery just does it.”
Martin Keown also said at the time: “This is where I think he’s different class. He recognises he needs more creativity on the pitch and wants [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan and [Alex] Iwobi in those little areas. [Matteo] Guendouzi then has options, they can get forward in those little pockets, and that’s when these two show that imagination.”