Champions League

Unai Emery commits long-term future to Aston Villa

Unai Emery commits long-term future to Aston Villa

Unai Emery has signed a new contract at Aston Villa (Bradley Collyer/PA) (PA Wire)

Unai Emery has agreed a five-year contract with Aston Villa after guiding them into the European Cup for the first time in 42 years.

Villa believe the Spaniard can achieve “something special” with them after he committed his long-term future to the Midlands club.

The 52-year-old, who took over a relegation-threatened team in 2022, steered Villa to fourth place – their highest finish for 28 years – in his first full season in charge, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.

Now the quadruple Europa League winner has agreed a deal to make his time at Villa the longest stay of his 20-year managerial career.

Villa sacked his predecessor Steven Gerrard when they were lying in 17th and hired Emery, a former Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Valencia and Sevilla manager, from Villarreal and are very happy with their progress under the 52-year-old.

Chairman Nassef Sawiris said: “We are building something special here at Aston Villa with Unai at its core and we are delighted that he has signed a new deal with the club until 2029.”

Emery added: “There’s a great chemistry in Aston Villa. We found always the best environment and structure to develop a project with the highest ambition. “All the football structure and the owners, we share the same vision and same goals. We are really excited to continue this journey with no limits to our dreams.”

Villa scored 76 Premier League goals this season, their most in a top-flight season for six decades, and beat champions Manchester City at home and Arsenal twice. Under Emery, they also had a run of 15 consecutive home league wins in 2023.

They have not played in the European Cup since 1982-83 but, after getting a first taste of continental football in 13 seasons this year, will make their Champions League bow next season.

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