Phil Neville turned down Aston Villa assistant role to focus on becoming manager

The former Valencia assistant coach is determined to make a name for himself as a top manager

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The Independent Football

Phil Neville has turned down the opportunity to join Aston Villa as an assistant coach in order to focus on becoming a manager.

The former Manchester United and Everton defender was targeted as a potential No.2 for the new manager, according to the Telegraph, but Neville is reportedly determined to make a name for himself.

Neville is available after leaving his role as Valenica’s assistant manager at the end of last season.

Speaking last May, he said: “In terms of my next step, unless it’s something really special, I think I’d like to go on my own and do my own thing.

“I went out to Valencia to create my own pathway and to keep my individual learning going, and that’s where I see it really.

“Rather than going back in as an assistant or a first-team coach, even though there may be opportunities to do that, in my ideal world I’d like to be on my own and continue my development on my own.”

Villa are still without a manager as they seek to replace Roberto di Matteo who was sacked last week.

Steve Bruce remains the favourite for the post but Steve Clarke is up for contention and was interviewed by the club on Monday.

It’s expected Bruce will be formally interviewed in the coming week as the club look to name a manager before Saturday’s home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.