Aston Villa are in the process of drawing up a boss short-list to replace the axed Dean Smith, but already one name has been ruled out, claims a report.
The Telegraph have reported that Villa’s shortlist will be ‘ambitious’ with owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris in no mood to be patient. Reports in September suggested Smith was battling to save his job after an indifferent start to the season.
Football Insider said Smith was under massive pressure to improve on last season’s 11th-placed finish. Smith was forced to sell Jack Grealish for a British record £100m, but he was backed in the market. Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey all signed for sizeable fees, while Ashley Young and Axel Tuanzebe arrived.
Edens and Sawiris were said to be disappointed with last season’s bottom-half finish and so Smith’s sacking did not come out of blue.
The Telegraph name Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as contenders.
Ironically, Hasenhuttl oversaw Southampton ‘s 1-0 win over Villa on Friday night – the result that saw the axe wielded.
Kasper Hjulmand from the Denmark national team and Paulo Fonseca are all understood to be in the running. While former Villa assistant coach John Terry is also a name in the fray.
Former Villa midfielder Andy Townsend would welcome the return of Terry to the club as head coach.
Aston Villa manager race: Dean Smith sacked, Gerrard, Terry and Fonseca linked
Terry will not be considered
Terry, 40, left his role as assistant manager at Villa Park in July to pursue a career as a manager.
“John Terry has the credentials to be a top manager,” said Townsend.
“I would love to see John do it. I don’t think he needed to leave to be number one at Aston Villa.
“The owners must have someone in mind. I’m really disappointed Dean has gone.
“You can’t lose eight or nine but I’m surprised it’s happened now.”
But The Sun say that Terry’s “lack of experience will prevent Smith’s former No .2 making a return to Villa Park as his replacement”.
Terry reacted to the news with a picture of Smith holding up the play-off trophy and wrote: “I know it’s part of being a manager but I’m devastated for the Gaffer & Shakey.”