What next for Newcastle United? Manager hunt latest as Unai Emery goes cold on deal
Unai Emery has backed away from the Newcastle United job - so what next for the Magpies’ new owners?
They found their man, but couldn’t get the deal done.
Newcastle United’s lengthy search for a more suitable Steve Bruce replacement now stretches into a third week, following the news that reported No.1 target Unai Emery does NOT want to join the PIF-financed project at St James’ Park.
Frustration reigns supreme on Tyneside after the news from the Spaniard, but what next for the Magpies?
Here we take a look at the options - and likelihood of the candidates mentioned turning up at United.
What Unai Emery has said about the Newcastle job
Emery released a statement on Wednesday. It read: “Through a lot of noise that there was yesterday in another country, inside the club there was transparency and loyalty with the Roig family and my squad. That is most important to me.
“Villarreal CF is my home and I am 100% committed. Honestly, I am grateful for the interest of a great club, but even more grateful to be here and that is why I communicated to Fernando Roig my decision to want to continue being part of this project.”
Who are the other runners and riders?
A number of candidates are understood to have been interviewed for the post. That list is said to include Eddie Howe, Paulo Fonseca and Lucien Favre. Roberto Martinez is another manager who is understood to be interesting those in the halls of power at SJP.
Football adviser Frank McParland’s influence cannot be overlooked - with Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez two who could come into thinking, although different issues arise if an attempt to appoint either candidate came to fruition.
Candidate pros and cons
Howe appears to be the frontrunner at the moment and he’d be an appointment who’d split opinion among the United fanbase.
He’s got Premier League experience, built a club, is known as a positive influence on a dressing room and a decent coach. However, in his last job he suffered relegation, with a talented group of players including Callum Wilson and Manchester City’s Nathan Ake. His side was also not known for keeping things tight at the back.
Fonseca, who is understood to be an outlier in the process at present, is an attack-minded coach with a very good CV. But has no Premier League experience, little at the bottom end of the table and again, relies heavily on a front-foot approach, one United have struggled with in recent times.
Favre probably ticks a lot of the boxes having built solid sides in Germany in the past, and also showing a pragmatic approach wherever he has managed. Almost took the Crystal Palace job in the summer, but backed out - will be want the NUFC project?
And Martinez, despite taking Belgium to the latter stages of the last World Cup and European Championships, has question marks above his head in the Premier League. Fought relegation and won a cup at unfancied Wigan Athletic, hit the ground running at Everton too, with a fifth-placed finish. But was eventually relegated with the Latics, and sacked by the Toffees.
Why has the decision taken so long?
This takeover saw a majority buyout of the football club by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, with two minority shareholders come on board.
And while PIF are the cash-flow, and PCP Capital Partners the day-to-day management of football affairs, all three have been having a say, understandably, in the managerial process.
Opinion has conflicted throughout the process, with so many opinions and voices, and consensus was only apparent when Emery seemingly became available.