A former Liverpool star who won the Champions League is ‘near’ to making a surprising return to the Premier League.
Pako Ayestaran, once an assistant manager for Liverpool, reportedly is on the verge of making a comeback to the Premier League.
According to Spanish news site Onda Cero, Rafa Benitez’s former assistant will be joining Unai Emery’s coaching staff at Aston Villa.
Once Benitez took over as manager of the Reds in 2004, Ayestaran signed on with the team. Prior to their move to Liverpool, they had already won two La Liga crowns and the Uefa Cup while playing for Valencia.
As a result of Benitez and Ayestaran’s efforts at Anfield, Liverpool won its fifth Champions League in 2005, a season that will forever be remembered for “The Miracle of Istanbul,” in which the Reds overcame a three-goal halftime deficit to defeat AC Milan on penalties in the championship game.
The next season, Liverpool was likewise driven by the dynamic combination and won the FA Cup. However, Ayestaran’s departure in September 2007 put an end to their 11-year partnership.
Since then, he has gone on to become a manager in his own right, first at Valencia for a short time in 2016, and then at the Portuguese club Tondela. However, it has been rumoured that Ayestaran will soon return to England after an absence of 15 years.
Emery has taken over as head coach at Aston Villa after Steven Gerrard’s departure last week.
It has been speculated that Ayestaran figures into these schemes. On Boxing Day, Liverpool visits Villa.