Newcastle United remain determined to appoint a manager 'committed' to the new owners' project at St James' Park - and positivity in their search persists despite Unai Emery's public backing out of job talks.
NewcastleWorld understands suggestions from Spain that Emery had reservations about the future structure of the football club, including decision-making, and direction, are being seen by club officials as nothing more than 'excuse-making' on the former Arsenal and PSG manager's part.
In fact, there is a feeling within the club that Emery, seen very much as the consortium's preferred managerial choice, will live to regret not getting on board with the Magpies at the start of their long-term project, one which will likely prove to be transformative for the football club.
On Wednesday, one well-placed source at United bullishly stated in relation to the Emery situation: "We move on. He will come to regret it.”
The Magpies move on - Howe next?
United have already swiftly turned their attentions elsewhere with Eddie Howe impressing certain quarters of the club's hierarchy at interview.
Others such as Lucien Favre and Roberto Martinez remain under consideration. Paulo Fonseca, despite also being spoken to, less so.
The consortium's Plan A was always Rafa Benitez, however he is currently in work at Everton. And while a move for the Toffees' boss has not 100% been ruled out, his links to the new owners remain, with trusted lieutenants Frank McParland and Owen Brown still on the scene on Tyneside.
Hopes had been high this week that Emery would be through the door in time to take the team at Brighton and Hove Albion's Amex Stadium on Saturday. However, after his refusal, and with every passing hour it seems more likely interim boss Graeme Jones will again be trusted with the reins. Jones has overseen the club's last two Premier League outings, a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace and a 3-0 loss at home to Premier League leaders Chelsea.
What Unai Emery said about NUFC job links
Speaking via Twitter, Emery released the following statement about the Newcastle role. It read: "No matter how much noise there was yesterday in another country there was transparency and loyalty within Villarreal and the Roig family (owners) and their staff.
"That is maximum for me and that is most important for me. Villarreal is my home and I am 100 percent committed to stay here.
"I am honestly grateful to the interest from a great club, but I am even more grateful to be here."