Aston Villa's Unai Emery worries eased after Barcelona and Bayern Munich decisions

Aston Villa's Unai Emery
Unai Emery has been a superb hire by Aston Villa -Credit:Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Any Aston Villa worries over potentially losing Unai Emery to some of the biggest teams in Europe have been eased following the latest reports around Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Emery has earned admiring glances with the job he is doing at Villa Park since taking over from Steven Gerrard last season. The Spaniard turned the club’s campaign around and led them from looking over their shoulder towards relegation to qualifying for European football.

The team have gone from strength to strength this season, too. They face a close race with Tottenham to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.

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A 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday moved them back above Tottenham and into fourth. But Ange Postecoglou’s team do have a game in hand.

Villa are also in the driving seat in their Europa Conference League quarter-final. Goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn means they lead 2-1 on aggregate going into the second leg of their tie against Lille.

All of that has led to some speculation over the future of Emery. HITC reported earlier this week that his name has been ‘discussed’ by both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Xavi’s announcement of his intention to depart the Nou Camp has led to Barca sounding out other options, while Bayern are on the search for a replacement for Thomas Tuchel who will leave the club at the end of the season.

However, despite Xavi reiterating his stance in a press conference last weekend, the club’s president Joan Laporta has suggested that the club are still hopeful of him changing his mind. "We will discuss this issue at the end of the season,” he told Mundo Deportivo.

“He [Xavi] is doing very well. He expressed himself in the sense in which he expressed himself, I understand that everything is open and everything is revisable. I understood that there have been circumstances that led him to do what he did. But at the end of the season, we will talk. There is time to talk about it."

If Barca can persuade Xavi to change his mind, then there will be no need to turn to Emery, or any other manager to take over. It seems that Bayern are also closing in on an appointment too.

According to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg , Bayern are close to reappointing Julian Nagelsmann as manager just over a year after he left the club. The 36-year-old is currently manager of the German national side, but is expected to step down at the end of this summer’s Euro 2024 tournament.

It is said that the Bayern board are ‘convinced’ that he is the right man for the job, and the plan for his return is supported by the club’s hierarchy. If that move goes ahead it’s one less club for Villa to worry about.

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