Unai Emery is reportedly the favourite to take over as the new manager of Newcastle United over the upcoming international break.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 13: Unai Emery, Head Coach of Villarreal looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Real Betis and Villarreal CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 13, 2020 in Seville, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN: Unai Emery, Head Coach of Villarreal looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Real Betis and Villarreal CF at Estadio Benito Villamarin on December 13, 2020. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Patrick Berger reports that sources have informed SPORT1 that Unai Emery is the favourite to take the manager job at Newcastle United. The board are pushing to get a deal done soon, as they want to present him over the international break.

Newcastle are reportedly keen to pay what’s necessary to get Emery out of his Villarreal contract, even if that’s a huge transfer fee.

There’s no doubt Emery had a successful first season with Villarreal, finishing a respectable seventh in La Liga and winning the Europa League.

But they’ve struggled this campaign, sitting 13th with two wins in 11 league games and their Champions League campaign very much on a knife edge right now – one point off bottom of the group.

It would also be a bit of a risky appointment for Newcastle, simply because Emery has so little experience of managing clubs in the relegation zone.

We all joke about where he left Arsenal, but it’s one thing to have a bad run with a good team and another to manage a genuine relegation candidate to safety.

That’s not to mention the pressure the English media will put on Emery after his last spell in the country.

Newcastle will hope they can bring Emery in, make a run up the table and then have him in place to support a first push for the European places next season. The worry is that they might go down before they get a chance to invest and push on.

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