Former Lyon coach Remi Garde has emerged as the early frontrunner to succeed Tim Sherwood as Aston Villa boss.
The ex-Arsenal midfielder, who held talks with Newcastle United last season and reportedly turned down a recent approach from Sunderland, is available after leaving Lyon in 2014 to take a break for personal reasons.
He spent three years in charge at Lyon and led them to the French Cup in 2012, having previously won the Premier League in 1998 as a player with the Gunners.
Garde is odds-on favourite with bookmakers, while former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, Brendan Rodgers, available after leaving Liverpool, and David Moyes, currently in charge at Real Sociedad, have also been backed.
One stumbling block for Garde according to French sports daily L’Equipe could be getting the backroom staff he wants.
Garde would be keen to bring Bruno Genesio and Gerald Baticle from Lyon to join him, but both men are still employed at the Ligue 1 club.
Villa sacked Sherwood on Sunday after they plummeted to the bottom of the Premier League on the back of six straight defeats.
Sherwood lasted just eight months into a three-and-a-half-year deal and his sacking followed Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea.
The former Tottenham boss admitted he was frustrated to have been axed so soon as he spoke the first time following his exit in a statement released via the League Managers’ Association.
“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to carry on in my role as manager of Aston Villa,” Sherwood said.
“I knew when I took on the role that it would be a big challenge, but it proved to be one I greatly enjoyed and I know I have learned a lot from this experience.
“Obviously, the initial priority was to stay in the Premier League, but beating Liverpool in the FA Cup semi at Wembley and then leading the team out for the final was an achievement and experience that I will treasure for the rest of my career.
“I’d like to thank my coaching staff and the staff throughout the club for their dedication, the Villa fans for their passionate support and the players, who gave everything during my time at the club.
“I wish the club all the best for the rest of the season and indeed for the future.”