Aston Villa will face Chelsea in the FA Cup replay on Wednesday (7 February) at Villa Park.
Ahead of the match, Unai Emery has confirmed that Leon Bailey will sign a new contract at Villa Park, and that the club is close to agreeing a deal with him.
The 26-year-old struggled for consistency last season. Emery said that his reaction was “fantastic” after they had a conversation during the pre-season.
Bailey, who joined from Bayer Leverkusen for £25 million in August 2021, has emerged as one of Emery’s key players this season.
Emery says that the winger deserves to get a new contract at the club and that the player is “working harder every day”.
“I spoke with him this year, when we started pre-season, about how we could improve different issues, different things he wasn’t showing us in a consistent way,” said Emery, as quoted by the club’s official website.
“And his reaction was fantastic. His commitment has improved, his focus, working harder every day, his way here adding for us his skills – scoring goals and assists. And we decided, more or less, one month ago, he deserved to extend his contract.”
The versatile winger is enjoying his best form this season. He has managed seven goals and six assists in the Premier League this season, which is comfortably his best output since he joined the club.
According to a report from The Telegraph, Bailey has verbally agreed terms on a long-term deal. Emery has now confirmed that Bailey will sign a new contract, although the details of the deal has not been disclosed as yet.
Villa returned to winning ways last week after beating Sheffield United 5-0 away from home. They have jumped to fourth in the league ahead of Tottenham.
However, the focus now shifts to the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they will play a replay against Chelsea.
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