‘No idea’ – Villarreal president speaks out on Emery, Newcastle links

Villarreal president Fernando Roig says he has “absolutely no idea” about an approach by Newcastle United for head coach Unai Emery.

The former Arsenal boss emerged as a surprise frontrunner for the vacant hot seat at St James’ Park earlier this week.

Newcastle are reportedly willing to pay £5.1million in compensation to bring in the 49-year-old as he is the club’s “preferred choice”.

Emery is a respected manager having won the Europa League in three straight seasons with Sevilla between 2013 and 2016.

He then became Arsene Wenger’s successor in north London after his 22-year stay at the club came to an end in 2018.

However, he was sacked in November 2019 after a poor start to the 2019/20 campaign.

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The Spaniard returned to his home country in 2020, joining Villarreal. He won the Europa League in his maiden season in charge, defeating Manchester United in the final.

His excellent reputation has attracted the interest of Newcastle – who are entering a new, exciting chapter after their Saudi-led takeover was confirmed last month.

Villarreal president Roig insists he has no concerns about the rumours linking Emery to Tyneside, telling MailOnline: “I don’t think so. He’s a professional and we have two big games coming up. He will be busy preparing the game against Young Boys.

“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.

“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.”

Elsewhere, the Aston Villa board ‘remain fully behind’ manager Dean Smith despite their poor run of form, according to 90min.

Their report claims that the 50-year-old will have the opportunity to turn things around in the Villans’ next three matches against Southampton, Brighton and Crystal Palace.

If results don’t improve, however, Smith may be in danger of being sacked, with former AS Roma manager Paulo Fonseca linked with the job.

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