Eddie Howe is now the bookies' favourite to land the Newcastle job after Unai Emery's sensational U-turn... and ex-boss Rafa Benitez is fourth favourite to make a shock return to St James' Park

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Eddie Howe is now the bookies' favourite to land the Newcastle job after Unai Emery's sensational U-turn... and ex-boss Rafa Benitez is fourth favourite to make a shock return to St James' Park

Eddie Howe is now the bookies' favourite to land the Newcastle job after Unai Emery rejected the chance to lead the team into a new era under their Saudi-led owners.

Emery held talks over taking over at St James' Park and was interested in the role but has made a U-turn - putting out a statement declaring he is happy at Villarreal - forcing Newcastle to look elsewhere. 

And former Bournemouth boss Howe looks to be leading the way, with Betfair backing him as the 8/15 favourite. He has been without a club since departing the Vitality Stadium in 2020 following the Cherries' relegation. 

Ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the bookies' favourite to take over as Newcastle boss

Ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the bookies' favourite to take over as Newcastle boss

Ex-Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the bookies' favourite to take over as Newcastle boss 

Paulo Fonseca is backed at 13/2 for the job

Roberto Martinez has odds of 8/1

Paulo Fonseca (R) is second favourite at 13/2, followed by Roberto Martinez at 8/1

He spent 11 years with Bournemouth across two separate spells, the second one lasting eight seasons, and pulled off a huge achievement to take them from League One to the Premier League with limited resources. 

He began his first spell with the club at the foot of League 2 and fought off a points deduction to maintain their Football League status back in 2009.

Second favourite with Betfair is Paulo Fonseca, who is backed at 13/2, followed by Belgium boss Roberto Martinez at 8/1.

Martinez was linked with the Barcelona job after guiding Belgium to 1st place in the FIFA world rankings, but it appears Xavi will get the job, while Fonseca came close to taking over at Tottenham in the summer and has been tipped for Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez is backed at 20/1 to make a sensation return despite only recently joining Everton

Rafa Benitez is backed at 20/1 to make a sensation return despite only recently joining Everton

A surprising entry in the list is former Magpies boss Rafa Benitez, who is fourth favourite at 20/1. The Spaniard was only appointed as Everton manager in the summer but has come under fire following three consecutive defeats. 

He spent three years at St James' Park and struck a chord with supporters, but was forced to leave after falling out with previous owner Mike Ashley. 

Nuno Espirito Santo, meanwhile, has only just found himself out of a job but also has odds of 20/1 to make an immediate return to management and take the post, as does John Terry - who is looking for his first managerial appointment. 

Ajax boss Erik ten Hag had been heavily linked with the job and Newcastle were looking to make him the highest paid boss in the league, but he is said to have concerns about the role and is now as long as 50/1. 

Ajax boss was on Newcastle's wishlist but is reportedly concerned over the role and is at 50/1

Ajax boss was on Newcastle's wishlist but is reportedly concerned over the role and is at 50/1

It comes after Emery threw Newcastle's managerial plans into chaos by turning down the chance to become their next boss and replace Steve Bruce.

In a statement on Wednesday, Emery said he was happy in his 'home' and wanted to continue with the club.

'No matter how much noise there was yesterday in another country, within the club there was transparency and loyalty with the Roig family and with my squad, which is the most important thing,' he said in a statement released on his

accounts. 

Unai Emery has revealed that he turned down the chance to become Newcastle's manager

 Unai Emery has revealed that he turned down the chance to become Newcastle's manager

Emery put questions around his future to bed with a statement saying he is staying at Villarreal

Emery put questions around his future to bed with a statement saying he is staying at Villarreal

'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 because of the commitment and respect that I perceive from the club and from my players, which is mutual and reciprocal.

'I want to thank the fans for the support they have always shown me. On Sunday we have a very important game and I hope that together we can achieve victory.'   

Newcastle are currently lead by caretaker boss Graeme Jones and are continuing the hunt for a new man in charge to turn their season around. They are 19th in the Premier League table. 

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