Barcelona get ‘no doubt’ answer in Unai Emery pursuit after shock Bayern Munich U-turn alters shortlist

Unai Emery, Barcelona

Barcelona have been told Aston Villa have 'no doubt' about Unai Emery's commitment to the club

Barcelona have received an answer over whether they’ll be able to tempt Aston Villa manager Unai Emery back to Spain as Julian Nagelmsann looks to have been taken off the board.

Barcelona are on the lookout for a new manager as Xavi – just over a year after guiding them to La Liga glory – will soon depart the club. He announced his decision to leave at the beginning of 2024.

At the time, Barca were struggling to keep up with league leaders Real Madrid – the gap has now closed, but it is still a fairly large one, with the leaders eight points ahead of Xavi’s side.

Still, the Nou Camp outfit’s decision-makers are reportedly hopeful he’ll change his mind about leaving.

They are on the hunt for a new manager, though, as they’ll leave themselves in trouble if they do not identify a replacement and Xavi sticks to his decision.

Former Bayern Munich manager Nagelsmann was said to be one of the big names on the list of late.

But it seems the Bundesliga giants could serve up a shock, as he’s said to be in talks to return there, with Thomas Tuchel leaving the club in the summer.

It’s an interesting turn of events given Nagelsmann was given the boot just over a year ago, and the former Chelsea boss hired in his place.

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Barcelona get Emery answer

While the German is seemingly off the board, Aston Villa manager Emery remains firmly on it.

HITC reports the thriving Villans boss has ‘been discussed’ by both Bayern and Barcelona, and is reportedly ‘admired’ by the former, but they already seem close to completing the move for their next boss, and it isn’t Emery.

He has, of course, managed a lot in Spain, with Lorca Deportivo, Almeria, Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal – who he left to take over at Villa in late 2022.

He won the Europa League with the yellow submarine in 2020/21, but decided a move to underperforming Villa was worthwhile, and it has proven such.

He’s taken them from a relegation scrap when he joined last season to a top-four fight this term – Villa are currently fourth and their last win secured the double over title-chasing Arsenal.

And that train is showing no signs of stopping – the Midlands outfit are said to have ‘no doubt’ about Emery’s commitment to the long-term project at the club.

They are ‘delighted with the progress’ he has made after guiding them to seventh last season, and given a first ever Champions League campaign – since it has been named such – is within touching distance, that’s no surprise.

While Barca would be a huge move for any manager, let alone a Spaniard who has cut his teeth with slightly lesser teams, the Villa project is a very exciting one that Emery clearly feels he can take even further.

If seventh place in the Premier League, followed by a potential fourth-placed finish the following term, is anything to go by, Villa could genuinely be title contenders next season, and that turnaround has been masterminded by Emery.

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