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Eddie Howe ‘agrees in principle’ to become next Newcastle boss after Unai Emery snub

Newcastle’s new owners have been searching for a new manager to take the reins after sacking Steve Bruce last month and look to have settled on ex-Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has reportedly agreed a deal in principle to become Newcastle’s next manager to succeed sacked Steve Bruce.

The former Bournemouth boss is expected to take charge at St. James’ Park on a two-and-a-half year deal, reports Sky Sports News.

It comes less than 24 hours after Villarreal’s Unai Emery ruled himself out of the running despite being considered as frontrunner for the role.

Howe has been out of work since leaving Bournemouth following their relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2019/20 season.

The 43-year-old had been in charge of the south coast club over two spells, during which time he led them from League Two to the top division in English football.

Newcastle director Amanda Staveley (R) has opted for Eddie Howe to steer the club’s project

He has been in talks with Newcastle’s new hierarchy in recent days after being pinpointed as a serious candidate, along with Paulo Fonseca and Roberto Martinez.

Howe was previously linked with Celtic but opted against replacing Neil Lennon at Parkhead.

It is believed Emery was the leading contender for the job until he was put off by a sack clause in the contract, as well as reports claiming the deal had been done before he and Newcastle had come to any agreement.

Emery released a statement late on Tuesday stating: “For all the noise there was yesterday in another country, within the club there has been transparency and loyalty with the Roig family, that for me is most important.

“Villarreal is my home and I am 100 per cent committed to the club.

“Honestly, I am grateful for the interest shown by a great club, but am also even more grateful to stay here, and I have communicated to Fernando Roig my decision to want to continue as part of this project and for the commitment and respect that I have received from the club and my players, it is mutual and reciprocated.”

Instead, Newcastle’s new owners have turned to Howe to steer the early stages of their project, following the successful acquisition of the club from Mike Ashley in a £305million deal last month.

He is expected to be handed a significant transfer kitty in the January window to boost Newcastle’s chances of survival, with the Magpies currently sat 19th in the table on just four points.

Howe has plenty of experience of battling the drop from his days with Bournemouth, where his highest Premier League finish was ninth in the 2016/17 campaign.

Nevertheless, he faces a difficult task in avoiding the drop, and is already under threat if he cannot keep the club in the top flight.

Mirror Football reported that the incoming Newcastle boss will have a sack clause inserted into his contract, allowing the club’s owners to dismiss the manager should they slip into the Championship.

Should Howe be appointed before the weekend, his first match in the dugout could be a tricky visit to high-flying Brighton in Saturday’s evening kick-off.

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