Unai Emery was fuming with Newcastle and put off by their insistence on a break clause, leaving Eddie Howe as the clear favourite to replace Steve Bruce.
Emery emerged as Newcastle’s first-choice managerial target this week after an extensive search, but both the club and media blew their load and the Spaniard chose to stay with Villarreal instead.
Despite saying publicly that he was ‘grateful for the interest of a great club,’ the Daily Mirror say Emery was privately left ‘furious’ by how the news broke and undermined his preparations for an important Champions League game.
The 50-year-old was also ‘left concerned’ about the ‘chaotic strategy’ that left Newcastle choosing ‘between him and his vast experience’, or former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, according to the report.
Newcastle, ‘so sure that they’d landed Emery that they scrapped the final interviews they’d had planned this week with the other candidates,’ also tried to include a termination clause in the proposed three-year contract, dependent on relegation this season.
Other outlets are far more flattering in terms of Newcastle’s ‘shambolic manager search’.
The Chronicle quotes a source as saying: “The new owners could not have done more to bring Emery to St James’. They went above and beyond and Emery was made a phenomenal offer.”
The Athletic, who the Magpies seem to be using to keep the fans updated on everything, say that the Newcastle owners ‘promise to learn from it and to improve’.
That report states that ‘they are convinced…they had done all they could to secure Emery’s signature,’ with the concession that ‘perhaps the messages and the reporting were too strong’.
Newcastle even ‘offered to meet every condition, including financially’ during discussions with Emery’s representatives on Wednesday morning.
His eventual withdrawal from the running leads the club back to Howe as ‘no bridges were burnt with the 43-year-old or the people around him’ when Emery was picked.
Although Howe is painfully clearly not the club’s first choice, there remains ‘a sense of optimism that Howe would be a good fit for Newcastle’s predicament and that talks continue’.
It is added:
‘Internally, it was always acknowledged that Howe interviewed better than Emery on Sunday, that he offered details and specifics about what he could do to lift the team from near the bottom of the table. Emery spoke in generalities and, in the end, his calibre and CV is what swung it for him, but Howe had a plan, talking about players they might target in January and his ideas regarding coaching and analytics and where Graeme Jones, the assistant manager, would fit in.’
That Unai Emery bloke? Never fancied him anyway.
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