Villarreal break silence on Newcastle’s pursuit of Unai Emery and ‘hope’ ex-Arsenal manager will see out contract

VILLARREAL still hope they can keep boss Unai Emery – despite Newcastle hoping to appoint him this week.

The LaLiga club's president Fernando Roig wants former Arsenal manager Emery to see out his contract until 2023.

Goal journalist Nizaar Kinsella says Roig told him Emery's mind is 'not drifting' from Villarreal.

But Newcastle's new Saudi owners reportedly want Emery in charge for Saturday's Premier League clash at Brighton.

And if they persuade the 49-year-old Spaniard to return to the Prem they would need to pay Villarreal £5.1million in compensation.  

Emery lasted just 18 months at Arsenal after arriving in May 2018.

The Gunners finished fifth in his only full season after fading near the finish and lost the Europa League final 4-1 to Chelsea.

But the ex-Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain chief has rebuilt his reputation at Villarreal.

And they beat Manchester United in last season's Europa League final.

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Kinsella tweeted to reveal he asked Roig about "Newcastle targeting Emery".

And he said Roig replied: "I am sure that his mind is not drifting elsewhere.

"I know Unai has a contract with us and contracts are there to be fulfilled.

"We hope that we will be able to see that contract through until the end."

Newcastle, though, now have the money to attract big names following their £305million takeover.

And Emery has emerged as their top target over the past few days, ahead of former Bournemouth chief Eddie Howe and Paulo Fonseca.

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