Emery confirms Newcastle interest but Villarreal boss yet to receive offer

By Sports Desk November 02, 2021

Villarreal head coach Unai Emery confirmed Newcastle United's interest in bringing him back to the Premier League, but he is yet to receive an offer.

Newcastle have reportedly made former Arsenal boss Emery their number one target to succeed Steve Bruce following the club's takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Premier League outfit Newcastle, who have also been linked with former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, are understood to want Emery in place for Saturday's game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Villarreal president Fernando Roig told Spanish broadcaster A Punt Media on Tuesday that Emery is "very happy" at the LaLiga side and Europa League champions, but conceded it would not be their decision should Newcastle pay his release clause.

Emery had said on Monday that he did not know anything about the potential move, however, added after Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League win over Young Boys that contact had been made.

"The truth is that they have shown an interest in me, but I have no further news," Emery said during his post-game news conference. "There is no offer. There have been no more steps.

"I am focused on Villarreal. It will have to be a contact between clubs. My idea is to be here on Sunday."

It has been reported Newcastle will pay the stipulated €6million release clause on Wednesday, although Emery would not be drawn on the speculation.

"Well, first I would talk to the president. I neither close the door nor open it to Newcastle," said Emery, who won three successive Europa League titles with Sevilla before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2016.

"I have not said no, but I would discuss it with Villarreal. I am very grateful. I cannot say anything more. We have already talked about noise. The first one who is uncomfortable is me, but we have been focused on the game."

Emery led Villarreal to last season's Europa League crown, beating Manchester United in a marathon penalty shoot-out in the final, earning them qualification for this term's Champions League.

Villarreal are currently 13th in LaLiga, having managed one point from their past four league games, while they sit second in their Champions League group with seven points behind Manchester United on head-to-head.

Related items

  • Europa Conference League win would 'finish a journey' for Roma, says Mourinho ahead of final Europa Conference League win would 'finish a journey' for Roma, says Mourinho ahead of final

    Jose Mourinho has said Wednesday's inaugural Europa Conference League final will be about "finishing a journey" as his Roma side prepare to take on Feyenoord.

    The Giallorossi beat Leicester City in the semi-finals and finished sixth in Serie A this season to qualify for next season's Europa League.

    Mourinho recently insisted that winning the Europa Conference League will mean as much to him as his Champions League titles with Porto and Inter.

    The game with their Dutch opponents will take place at Arena Kombetare in Tirana, Albania, and speaking at a media conference on Tuesday, Mourinho said winning the first edition of the competition was a key target for his team. 

    "To me this final is not about writing history," he said. "It's about finishing a journey we've been on this season and achieving one of the targets we've always had.

    "Me and my staff have been at Trigoria since the Torino game, preparing for this game. The squad look in good shape to me, ready for this."

    Attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has not played since suffering a muscle injury against Leicester last month, but Mourinho said the Armenian could be available on Wednesday. 

    "Mkhitaryan trained today with the squad for the first time. But it was only a light session," he said.

    "Still, it was important for him to see how he feels out there on the pitch. I will rely a lot on his view on whether he is ready or not tomorrow."

    The former Chelsea manager has often gone by the moniker "The Special One", following his confident self-tagging when he became boss at Stamford Bridge in 2004, but he insisted he is not the same person any more and just wants to help his team.

    "The Special One story is a nonsense," he added. "It's something you say in the beginning of your career. As you progress, mature, you start to think more about others than yourself. So that's an old story to me. Tomorrow, I will simply try to help."

    Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini also spoke to the media, and said he and his team-mates will be "focused and determined" to get the win.

    "Who wouldn't want to bring something home that will remain forever in the history of this club?" the 25-year-old said.

    "We will be focused and determined, as we always are. I hope that tomorrow will end up being one of the best days of my life."

  • Premier League approves proposed Chelsea takeover as sale nears completion Premier League approves proposed Chelsea takeover as sale nears completion

    Chelsea's proposed takeover has taken a huge step towards completion after the Premier League confirmed the sale was approved on Tuesday.

    The Blues agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion earlier in May.

    The takeover, which promises investment of £1.75billion into the club, briefly appeared to be in doubt due to suggestions Roman Abramovich was unhappy with the sale structure.

    Abramovich denied that to be the case, and the deal appears to be nearing a resolution, though the sale still needs to be approved by the UK government.

    The proceeds of the sale are expected to be donated to the victims of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    A Premier League statement released on Tuesday read: "The Premier League Board has today approved the proposed takeover of Chelsea Football Club by the Todd Boehly/Clearlake consortium.

    "The purchase remains subject to the government issuing the required sale licence and the satisfactory completion of the final stages of the transaction.

    "The Board has applied the Premier League's Owners' and Directors' Test (OADT) to all prospective directors, and undertaken the necessary due diligence.

    "The members of the Consortium purchasing the club are affiliates of the Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., Todd Boehly, Hansjorg Wyss and Mark Walter.

    "Chelsea FC will now work with the relevant governments to secure the necessary licences to complete the takeover."

  • Benzema insists Tupac Instagram post was not 'betrayal' dig at Mbappe Benzema insists Tupac Instagram post was not 'betrayal' dig at Mbappe

    Karim Benzema insists he does not feel "betrayed" by Kylian Mbappe's decision to stay with Paris Saint-Germain instead of joining him at Real Madrid.

    After well over a year of intense speculation, Mbappe finally confirmed on Saturday that he had signed a new three-year contract at PSG.

    It was a decision few saw coming given Madrid's apparent confidence the France international was going to join them on a free transfer at the end of June.

    Mbappe's decision infuriated LaLiga chief Javier Tebas, while others associated more closely with Madrid were said to have been stunned.

    An Instagram post by Benzema later the same day attracted particular attention, as he uploaded a photo of late rapper Tupac Shakur that was deemed to be veiled reference to betrayal.

    According to Madrid-based newspaper Marca, which is generally regarded to have strong ties to Los Blancos, Benzema had been key in trying to persuade international team-mate Mbappe to join the club, hence why he might have felt betrayed.

    But Benzema is adamant such stories are nonsense.

    Speaking to Movistar Plus on Tuesday, Benzema said: "I'm going to tell you that we're going to play a Champions League final on Saturday. This is not the time to talk about those little things. I'd rather not talk.

    "I'm not angry, I'm just telling you that I'm focused on the Champions League final, which is more important than listening to other things."

    Asked if he felt "betrayed", Benzema continued: "Why? Everyone has to be focused on their things.

    "Mbappe and other players have no reason to call me. Everyone decides their future. I'm calm here, preparing for Saturday's game. Each person does what he wants.

    "There is no history of betrayal, or anything… Every month and a half I [post] photos of Tupac, who is my favourite.

    "It's not a photo with a message; if I have a message I will see the person. Madrid is the best club in the world, but it was not a message."

    Benzema did acknowledge, however, that the news was unexpected.

    "I was surprised, like everyone else," he said. "He is a Paris player and we have a game on Saturday."

    Both players are expected to be on international duty with France next month when Les Bleus begin their Nations League title defence.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.