Chelsea lining up Valencia’s Unai Emery to replace Andre Villas-Boas?

By IndepthAfrica
In Soccer
Feb 20th, 2012

Andre Villas-Boas’ job at Chelsea appears safe for now despite reports in Spain claiming the club are keeping tabs on Valencia coach Unai Emery.

Reports in Spain claim a Blues delegation was at Camp Nou on Sunday night to take in Los Che’s clash against Barcelona as the club weigh up potential replacements for under-fire Villas-Boas.

But the Portuguese needn’t clean out his desk just yet as Valencia were handed a footballing lesson by Lionel Messi and Co. as Barcelona romped to a 5-1 victory that, had it not been for the visitor’s goalkeeper Diego Alves, could have ran into double figures.

However, the fact Chelsea appear to be scouring the globe looking at candidates will certainly be giving Villas-Boas sleepless nights with the young tactician coming under increasing pressure at the Bridge.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Championship side Birmingham in the FA Cup did little to quell the growing sense of frustration amongst fans with many beginning to question whether Villas-Boas, hailed as the new Jose Mourinho upon his arrival, is in fact the right man for the job.

Rumours of a possible return of the Special One in the summer is hardly helping matters, buth with Mourinho stating publicly over the weekend that he is committed to Real Madrid it’s the clubs apparent ‘search’ for a new boss that will be of greater concern.

Emery, who is just 40, has been manager of Valencia since the summer of 2008, and despite the highly publicised financial problems has guided them to successive third placed finishes in La Liga, helping them to qualify for the Champions League for the past two seasons.

He had a long, if unremarkable career as a player, mainly in the lower divisions. He was a left-sided midfielder who finished his playing career with third-tier Lorca Deportiva in 2004, the club at which he made his first forays into management.

After guiding them to a first ever promotion to Spain’s second division, he caught the attention al Almeria, whom he guided to Primera Liga for the first time and then toa highly creditable eighth. In 2008, he was chosen to replace Ronald Koeman at the Mestalla where he has impressed.

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