Quique Setien

Villarreal have appointed former Barcelona head coach Quique Setien as their new manager following Unai Emery’s departure to Premier League side Aston Villa.

Setien, 64, has signed a contract until the end of next season with the LaLiga club.

‘Villarreal CF have reached an agreement with Quique Setien for the Santander-born coach to take charge of the Yellows for the remainder of the current season and the entirety of the following one,’ the club said in a statement.

Setien, a former midfielder with several teams in Spain, started his managerial career with his old club Racing Santander before stints at Las Palmas, Real Betis and Barca, where he was sacked in 2020 after just seven months at the helm.

Emery left Villarreal, who are seventh in LaLiga with 18 points from 11 games, on Monday after ‘unilaterally terminating his contract’, according to the club.

Setien’s first game in charge will be at home to Israeli side Hapoel Be’er-Sheva in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Emery, however, will take over as Aston Villa manager next month pending the outcome of his work permit application.

Villa moved swiftly on Monday to pay Villarreal the £5.3million clause to release Emery from his contract, and he is believed to have agreed a three-year deal to succeed Steven Gerrard.

Emery is poised to return to the Premier League three years after he was sacked by Arsenal, where he was in charge for a little more than a season.

Caretaker-boss Aaron Danks will again be in charge for Saturday’s game at Newcastle while Emery waits for his ‘work permit formalities’ to be completed.

Villa were attracted to Emery because of his top European pedigree, his knowledge of the Premier League and his familiarity with the 4-2-3-1 system.

There is a feeling at Villa that this formation is best suited to the players they have, and caretaker-boss Aaron Danks used it to great effect against Brentford on Sunday, with Villa winning 4-0.

Despite his difficulties at Arsenal, Emery has outstanding pedigree. He led Villarreal to Europa League glory in 2021, and the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He also took Sevilla to consecutive Europa League titles from 2014-16 and had a spell in charge of PSG.

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