On Monday, it was revealed that Unai Emery had been appointed as the new manager of Aston Villa to take over from Steven Gerrard.
According to sources speaking to ESPN, negotiations between Villa and the former Villarreal manager Emery started on Sunday. The Premier League team is looking for a replacement for Gerrard, who was fired last Thursday following a 3-0 loss at Fulham.
The club’s statement read: “Unai Emery has been named as the new head coach of Aston Villa, and the club is excited to make the announcement.
“Unai is a very skilled top-level coach with over 900 games under his belt. During a previous stint with Arsenal, he also coached in the Premier League and took the Gunners to the Europa League final.
He also had considerable success when playing for Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain. He won the Europa League three times in a row in Seville between 2013 and 2016, and then he won the Ligue 1 championship, two French Cups, two French League Cups, and two Trophee des Champions before moving to France.
After the requirements for his work permit are finished, Unai will start on November 1.
Quique Setien, a former manager of Barcelona, was named the next manager of Villarreal on Tuesday.
Emery, 50, had been in charge of Villarreal since 2020. In his first season, he led the LaLiga club to its first-ever trophy, the Europa League, and a year later, he led them to the Champions League semifinals.
When Emery received the manager’s position at Newcastle United in November 2021, he was on the verge of leaving Villarreal but ultimately decided to stay.
Emery was eager to play football in England again following an inconsistent 18 months at Arsenal from May 2018 to November 2019.
Following Gerrard’s dismissal and a 4-0 victory over Brentford on Sunday under interim manager Aaron Danks, Villa are currently ranked 14th in the Premier League league with 12 points from 12 games.
When he led Almeria to promotion to LaLiga in 2007, Emery rose to fame in Spain.
Prior to a brief stint at Spartak Moscow, he led Valencia to three straight third-place results. He later won three Europa Leagues in three years while in charge of Sevilla.
My home, not my club, because I have felt incorporated, loved, connected with, and passionate about Villarreal, Emery stated on Twitter when the news emerged on Monday. I personally experienced the fantastic project that the Roig family and our dearly departed Jose Manuel Llaneza were driving. It was a commendable initiative from the outside, and I can corroborate this from the inside because I felt a part of it.
“We’ve achieved success together, we’ve lived great moments and, regardless of the results, I’ve felt more loved and supported than ever. I’ve enjoyed this journey to the maximum. However, part of every journey is its end.”
That European success led him to take over at PSG and then Arsenal, who he took to the 2019 Europa League final where they lost to Chelsea.
He secured a fifth-placed finish that season in the Premier League before being sacked following a poor start to the 2019-20 season.
He has rebuilt his reputation at Villarreal, beating Manchester United in the 2021 Europa League final and taking them to last season’s Champions League semifinals, beating giants Juventus and Bayern Munich en route.