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Unai Emery 'makes Aston Villa contract decision amid Bayern Munich links'

Unai Emery 'makes Aston Villa contract decision amid Bayern Munich links'
© Reuters
Unai Emery reportedly commits his future to Aston Villa by signing a new three-year deal amid interest from German giants Bayern Munich.

Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery has reportedly signed a new long-term contract with the West Midlands club, ending speculation surrounding his future.

The former Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Villarreal manager has overseen a magnificent transformation at Villa Park since taking over from Steven Gerrard in 2022, and his Lions side are now on course for Champions League qualification.

Emery has masterminded 44 wins from his 77 matches in charge of Villa, in addition to 14 draws and 19 defeats, and the West Midlands side currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table with a six-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur, who have two games in hand.

Between March and December of last year, Villa also made club history with an astonishing 15-game winning run at home in the top flight, and they will face Olympiacos in the semi-finals of this year's Europa Conference League thanks to a dramatic penalty-shootout win over Lille in the last eight.

Emery's work with the Lions supposedly caught the eye of German giants Bayern Munich, who will part company with Thomas Tuchel this summer, while a move to Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp was also mooted.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery reacts on December 30, 2023© Reuters

Emery commits to Villa until 2027

However, The Athletic reports that the 52-year-old has committed his future to Villa Park by signing a new deal with the Premier League side, which will keep him on the books until 2027.

While Emery is now tied down to Villa for another three years, the report adds that his terms could be extended even further when he sits down with owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens this summer.

The Villa chiefs are supposedly of the view that Emery can leave a similar legacy at Villa Park that Sir Alex Ferguson achieved at Manchester United, and they have trusted the Spaniard with "significant autonomy" since his arrival.

Despite his ill-fated stint with Arsenal, Emery returned to the Premier League touchline with a glittering CV, having won his fourth Europa League title with Villarreal in 2021 before leaving the Yellow Submarine to take charge of Villa.

The Spaniard had already clinched three second-tier European crowns with Sevilla, while also winning one Ligue 1 title, two Coupe de France crowns, two Coupe de la Ligues and two Trophee des Champions at PSG.

Which other managers could Bayern, Liverpool target?

Austria coach Ralf Rangnick before the match on March 23, 2024© Reuters

There was never believed to be any real doubt that Emery would snub outside interest to continue working with Villa, and Bayern had supposedly already cooled their interest before he put pen to paper.

Instead, the recently-deposed German champions are said to be prioritising the arrival of former Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick, now in charge of Austria, and talks are thought to be ongoing with the 65-year-old.

Both Bayern and Liverpool were ready to battle it out for the signature of Xabi Alonso before the Bayer Leverkusen boss also elected to stay put, although Emery was never credibly linked with the latter.

Instead, Ruben Amorim was regarded as the Reds' top target up until last night, when it was revealed that the Sporting Lisbon manager had held talks with West Ham United and is now considered unlikely to take over at Anfield.

Liverpool are thought to have taken an interest in Lille's Paulo Fonseca instead, while Brighton & Hove Albion's Roberto De Zerbi remains a prime candidate too.

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery before the match on March 2, 2024
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