Liverpool Champions League winner ‘set’ to make shock Premier League comeback

Unai Emery is assembling his Aston Villa backroom team and Pako Ayestaran is reportedly set to join the club.

Former Liverpool assistant manager Pako Ayestaran is closing in on a return to the Premier League, reports suggest.

Spanish outlet Onda Cero suggests that Rafa Benitez’s one-time right-hand man will join Unai Emery’s backroom team at Aston Villa.

Ayestaran joined the Reds in 2004 after Benitez took charge as manager. They’d won two La Liga titles and the Uefa Cup at Valencia before moving to Merseyside.

And together at Anfield, Benitez and Ayestaran guided Liverpool to an unforgettable fifth Champions League in 2005 - the final which was dubbed ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’ when the Reds came from three goals behind at half-time to claim beat AC Milan on penalties.

The duo also led Liverpool to FA Cup glory the following season. However, their 11-year association ended in September 2007 when Ayestaran left.

He has since managed in his own right, having a brief spell as Valencia chief in 2016 and most recently of Portuguese side Tondela. But now Ayestaran is reportedly set to make a move back to England some 15 years after leaving.

Emery succeeded Steven Gerrard at the Aston Villa helm last week and is currently assembling his coaching staff.

And it is said that Ayestaran is part of those plans. Liverpool travel to Villa on Boxing Day.