Unai Emery chasing £30m defender reunion as Aston Villa look to scupper proposed Newcastle deal

Emile Smith Rowe and Kieran Tierney of Arsenal

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is reportedly keen on a reunion with Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney this summer, despite the full-back being strongly tipped to join Premier League rivals Newcastle.

The former Celtic defender has really struggled for game time at The Emirates this season, with Mikel Arteta often preferring summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko’s ability to play as an inverted full-back and move into midfield in possession.

Indeed, Tierney has managed only five Premier League appearances for a Gunners side who still have a slim chance of title glory, despite falling away in their battle with Manchester City.

Those limited opportunities have sparked interest from Newcastle, while Manchester City are also rumoured to be keeping an eye on the Scotland international’s situation.

However, a report from the Daily Telegraph claims that Villa have now joined the race for the 25-year-old.

It was reported recently that Eddie Howe’s men are preparing to offer £30million for Tierney, with the player himself said to be keen on moving back north.

Tierney has been unfortunate with injuries since his switch to The Emirates, with a serious knee problem prompting Arteta to swoop for Zinchenko as competition.

However, it’s not been much of a competition as the Ukraine international has taken sole possession of the left-back spot.

Villa are still well in the mix for a European spot but have lost their last two games and remain eighth in the table.

Emery knows European football attracts bigger names

And Emery openly admits that failing to qualify for Europe could impact the quality of players the club can attract this summer, but he remains ambitious in his goals for Villa.

“Maybe, yes, but it’s not changing the mind I have, the idea we spoke about,” Emery said.

“We want to create a strong structure here, a strong mentality. You have to build a team like a family. If we are in Europe – we will add some possibility to take away trophies, playing more matches, for me it will be fantastic.

“If it’s not this year, my idea and objective is the same – try to play in Europe with Aston Villa.

“Not only just to play in Europe but I want to play in the Champions League with Aston Villa.”

Despite losing to Wolves on Saturday, Villa are just one point behind Brighton in seventh place although the Seagulls have three games in hand.

They are next in action on Saturday when they host an inconsistent Spurs side at Villa Park.

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