Express & Star

Unai Emery confident Aston Villa stars will be staying put

Unai Emery is determined Villa won’t lose any of their star performers this summer as he aims to kick on again next season.


Villa have ambitious targets for the upcoming transfer window but also know some of their current players, including Emi Martinez and Ollie Watkins, are the subject of admiring glances from elsewhere.

Striker Watkins is currently in talks over a new contract after scoring 12 goals in 22 Premier League matches since Emery’s arrival and the head coach appears confident of retaining his top men, even if Villa miss out on a place in Europe.

He said: “Our idea is to get better next year with the players we have now and adding players who can improve the squad. It’s not in my mind for players to leave if they’re very important to us.”

Some out-of-favour players are likely to leave as Emery reshapes the squad in his first summer window at Villa Park.

The club remained relatively quiet during January after failing to lure their top targets. Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio and Tottenham playmaker Giovani Lo Celso are among the players on their current list.

Emery plans to sit down and discuss for the club’s loan players, including striker Cameron Archer, once the season has finished. Archer scored 11 goals after joining Middlesbrough in the January window.