Unai Emery namedrops £105m Newcastle United duo and responds to Aston Villa transfer approach

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Unai Emery was grilled about Newcastle United and Jacob Ramsey ahead of tomorrow's Premier League clash

Unai Emery has dismissed suggestions Aston Villa will be fuelled by revenge tomorrow evening.

Newcastle United blew the Villans away on the opening day of the campaign, winning 5-1 at St James’ Park. An almost perfect day for the Magpies provided hope for 2023-24 but the two clubs have been on polarising trajectories since.

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Eddie Howe’s squad has been ravaged by injuries, crashing out of the Champions League while sliding down the table domestically. On the flip side, Villa have claimed Newcastle’s tag as the division’s surprise package and are chasing a top-four finish.

Emery’s side are also into the knockout stages of the Conference League, with the Spaniard renowned for his heroics in Europe. Another three points are on offer at Villa Park but the 52-year-old has denied using the opening-day hiding as motivation against Newcastle.

"Every team when they play away, they find it more difficult,” Emery told reporters when asked about the August defeat. “Even for Man City and Liverpool, for us, even for Tottenham and Newcastle. It is difficult and, every team who plays at home will feel strong, trying to play and showing their best performances.

“Every team struggles away from home and Newcastle is the same but it’s no different to others. Tomorrow we must use our power at home and we must be strong in our game plan.

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“Tomorrow I think they will feel stronger than they were because they beat Fulham away. They will feel more confidence than before. The starting XI is more or less the same and is a strong team. Isak and Gordon, the back four too. They are going to play their main players and I respect them a lot.”

Emery also refused to be drawn over speculation regarding Jacob Ramsey. An intriguing twist emerged on the eve of the game as reports linked Newcastle with the Villa youngster.

"Tomorrow we play against Newcastle and that is more important than the transfer window and my focus is completely on tomorrow for Newcastle,” he added. “Some players could leave and maybe we can add, but it is difficult to add one or two players. My focus is on tomorrow. I don’t want to move the main players we have now in the squad."

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