July 19, 2020 / 11:12 PM / 23 days ago

Soccer-Emery has pre-contract deal to coach Villarreal - reports

July 19 (Reuters) - Former Arsenal coach Unai Emery has signed a pre-contract agreement to coach La Liga side Villarreal next season, according to reports in Spanish newspapers Marca and AS.

The reports said Emery, who had success with Spanish sides Almeria and Sevilla before coaching Paris St-Germain and Premier League club Arsenal, struck the deal in March, before the season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Villarreal coach Javi Calleja had been having a stop-start season until then but his side went on a resurgent run after the restart, winning seven of their final 11 matches to finish fifth in La Liga and qualify for the Europa League.

“I don’t know about my future, I have a clear conscience because I’ve done everything I could to get the best from my team and we have done that so I can hold my head up high,” Calleja said after his side’s 4-0 home win over Eibar on Sunday.

“First of all the club has to speak to me. I have a contract and when they do that they will either confirm this or they will have to deny it.

“I have a contract and others should speak about this. The club have told me that they were thinking about it this weekend and will speak to me later after everything that has come out in the media.” (Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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