Villa seek Di Matteo replacement
Aston Villa are looking for a replacement for Roberto di Matteo after the 46-year-old was sacked after just 124 days in charge. The club are now looking for their fifth manager in less than a year with Di Matteo winning just one of his 11 Championship games in charge.
The former Chelsea player and manager was appointed soon after the takeover of Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia in June. His final game saw a 2-0 defeat away at Preston as Villa were booed off the pitch and he will now be replaced on caretaker basis by his assistant Steve Clarke. The club who currently sit 19th in the Championship will now begin the process of finding Di Matteo's successor, with a number of interesting names being linked with the position.
The favourite to take the job is Steve Bruce, out of work since leaving Hull during the summer. Bruce has experience of getting teams out of the Championship having done so with both Hull and Villa's city rivals Birmingham. His record in the division and previous achievements, coupled with the fact he would be immediately available sees him as an attractive proposition. However the fact he has previously managed Birmingham in the past could count against him in the eyes of Villa fans. The Villa Park faithful were critical in the past when the club appointed Alex McLeish as manager having previously managed the Blues and could be similarly wary of Bruce. Nonetheless, the 55-year-old is still the bookies' favourite and is actually found odds-on with a number of bookmakers. However you can get him at the relatively long odds of 11/10 with BetVictor.
Villa are also believed to have been targeting Huddersfield boss David Wagner. The German born, former American international has earned rave reviews since leading the Terriers to the top of the Championship at the start of this season. Having worked under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund, Wagner has quickly earned himself a stellar reputation in the game and has also been considered by Derby for their managerial vacancy. Wagner is the second favourite behind Bruce and is found at a best price of 8/1 with William Hill to be the next Villa manager.
The list of contenders also contains boyhood Villa fan Dean Smith. The current Brentford boss cut his managerial teeth with fellow Midlands club Walsall before moving up to the Championship to take charge at the Bees. During his time at charge of the West London club he finished 9th in the league last season and they sit just outside of the play-off so far this campaign. The 45-year-old is as short as 5/1 in places but is best priced with William Hill at odds of 14/1.
Two other men who have been linked with the job are Bristol City's Lee Johnson and Luton's Nathan Jones although Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs is not thought to be in the running.
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