Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard & Roberto Martinez shortlisted for Aston Villa job

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
The two managers are among those being considered
The two managers are among those being considered / Ian MacNicol & BSR Agency - GettyImages
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Steven Gerrard and Roberto Martinez are both being considered by Aston Villa as they search for Dean Smith's replacement.

Smith was sacked on Sunday following a poor run of results which left big-spending Villa just two points above the drop zone with 11 games played. The final straw was a 1-0 away defeat to Southampton which represented his side's fourth straight Premier League defeat.

Villa opted against announcing a caretaker manager going into the international break, suggesting that a swift appointment is being targeted.

According to Sky Sports, one name on their shortlist is Gerrard, who has seriously impressed in his first managerial gig with Rangers. After a steady start following his arrival in 2018, his side seriously clicked into gear last season.

The Gers went the entire Scottish Premiership campaign unbeaten, racking up an incredible 102 points and failing to win just six of their 38 games. They also conceded just 13 goals and scored a whopping 92.

Gerrard is close friends with Christian Purslow from the latter's time as managing director at Liverpool and although Villa would have to pay compensation, he is an attractive choice.

Another option is Martinez, who is currently in charge of Belgium. The former Everton and Wigan Athletic man is said to be open to a Premier League return, though whether the Villa job would tempt him is another matter. Martinez has been linked with the Barcelona and Tottenham jobs recently.

Another contender for the Villa job is Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand. Hjulmand led his side to the Euro 2020 semi-finals in the summer, where they eventually fell to beaten finalists England in extra time.

Villa are understood to be interested in speaking to around five coaches before making their decision. They hope to have their man in place for their fixture against Brentford after the international break.


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