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Newcastle United co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi has denied that Michael Emenalo was ever offered a job in the wake of reports that the ex-Chelsea man snubbed the chance to become the Magpies' new director of football.
Emenalo has emerged as the primary candidate to fill the vacant role in recent weeks.
Newcastle have reportedly been searching for a director of football since the Saudi-backed £305million takeover of the club was completed back in October.
Reports over the weekend had suggested that Emenalo had turned the club down after being offered the job.
But Ghodoussi, the husband of Newcastle board member Amanda Staveley, spoke out on Sunday to quash rumours that Emenalo had ever been offered a role.
He tweeted: "Contrary to a newspaper report, Michael Emenalo was never offered the job of Sporting Director or Director of Football at Newcastle United".
His statement leaves the prospect of Newcastle hiring a new director of football any time soon unclear.
The Telegraph had claimed that the 56-year-old had the support of Newcastle’s Saudi owners as well as head coach Eddie Howe, but decided that the club and its plans were not “right” for him after deliberation.
Emenalo played a key role as Chelsea's transfer chief during a decade-long spell at Stamford Bridge, so losing out will be a huge blow for the Magpies as they attempt to rebuild the club.
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Early reports had also linked the Toon with ex-Arsenal winger Marc Overmars, who has enjoyed great success in a similar role at Ajax over the past few years.
But he reportedly ruled out any prospect of leaving Ajax last month.
Although Newcastle may be struggling off the pitch in their staff search, the club did at least break their duck under Howe on Saturday.
Callum Wilson fired home the winner against Burnley to kickstart Howe's reign. The result lifted the Magpies off the bottom of the league and to within three points of safety.
As well as being Howe's first win since he was appointed, it was also Newcastle's first win in 195 days – and Howe couldn't hide his delight after the match.
Howe told the Newcastle Chronicle after the match: "I am absolutely delighted for everyone connected with the club.
"It was a massive game for us and I thought the lads responded.
"After the first 20 mins we were great today.
"We were very nervy towards the end as we were desperate for the win.
"The players managed that part really well."
- Newcastle United FC
- Premier League
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