Express & Star

Aston Villa boosted by Unai Emery contract extension

Chairman Nassef Sawiris believes Unai Emery is the man to restore Villa to “historic levels of greatness” after the boss extended his contract.

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Villa have triggered a one-year option in Emery’s deal which will now run through to 2027, while further talks over an even longer contract are planned for the summer.

The club has moved swiftly with a number of Europe’s elite clubs including Bayern Munich and Liverpool seeking new managers.

In less than 18 months, Emery has transformed Villa from a team struggling against relegation to one competing for Champions League football, while the club has the chance to end its 28-year wait for a major trophy after progressing to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.

In a statement, Sawiris said: “We are thrilled and are building a sporting operation around Unai to support him with a view of returning Aston Villa, a co-founder of the English Football League as we prepare to celebrate our 150th anniversary, to its historic levels of greatness.”

Emery’s success at Villa has undoubtedly attracted attention of other clubs and reports in Germany last weekend claimed he was a contender for the soon-to-be vacant Bayern post.

But the Spaniard insists he and his coaching staff “share the vision” of Villa’s billionaire co-owners Sawiris and Wes Edens.

Emery said: “We have a good environment and the right structure to develop this football club.

“We must maintain the hard-working spirit, clever decisions and coordination with the ownership that we have found during this time.

“We will work to get better and better. And we will demand from each other. Ambition already is, and must always be, the motto of this project.”