By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

5th Nov, 2023 | 8:33am

Unai Emery contract situation causes surprise at Aston Villa, 'I heard whispers'

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Dan Bardell is “surprised” that Aston Villa haven’t handed Unai Emery a new contract yet after hearing fresh terms were set to be offered at the end of last season.

The Spaniard has done an incredible job at Villa over the past year after guiding the club to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League and qualifying for the Europa Conference League.

The Villans boss has overseen an impressive start to this campaign as well, with his side currently fifth in the table and just a point outside of the top four.

Bardell believes Villa don’t have to worry too much about Emery leaving at this moment in time, but concedes that they will have to qualify for the Champions League in the next two years if they want to keep hold of him.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I think clubs will look at it because you can’t deny the job he’s done at Villa, but Unai Emery will know he’s been given everything he’s asked for and everything he’s wanted since he’s come to Villa. The whole club is now built around him.

“A lot of the people working there are there because of him. Villa have kind of built this football department now around him and the triangle of power with Monchi and Damian Vidagany, who are really Emery hires if we are being perfectly honest because they’re people he’s worked with before and trusts.

“So, the whole football club now is geared around Emery, he’s been able to bring in the players that he wanted and improve the players that were already there. This guy is the real deal as a manager.

“I knew when Villa got him that he was a top-class manager, but I genuinely think now from a year of watching Villa and seeing an improvement in a lot of the players that are already there and what he’s done to transform the football side from top to bottom as well as the European trophies he’s won at other clubs, Villa have got a world-class manager here.

“Some of the teams that might be interested in him, they’ve been a graveyard for players and managers as well. I don’t think it’s something Villa need to worry about at the moment.

“Although, I heard whispers of a new contract at the end of last season and I’m surprised that hasn’t happened yet. I would’ve thought Villa would’ve maybe, because he’s head coach, given him a title change to manager and given him a new contract. I still do think that will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet.

“He’s spoken about he’s at Villa for the long haul. Villa need to progress, get better and qualify for the big European competitions because he’s an ambitious manager, who wants to win things.

“I think he’ll be at Villa for the next three or four years regardless, but he wants to operate in the Champions League. I think Villa need to be qualifying for the Champions League in the next couple of years to keep hold of him and to progress in his name.” 

In other Aston Villa news, a senior man may have quit before he was pushed out of Villa Park by Monchi.