Houllier looks to bring in former colleague

New Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is hoping to appoint one of his former Liverpool backroom staff - Patrice Bergues - at Villa Park.

Bergues also worked alongside Houllier at Lens and Lyon at club level as well as with the French Football Federation in the late 1990s.

Houllier had wanted to bring in Phil Thompson, his number two at Anfield as assistant-manager, but he has opted to remain in his role as a pundit with Sky Sports.

Thompson said: "Had circumstances been different, I would have been delighted to accept the chance to work with Gerard Houllier and Patrice Bergues once again at Aston Villa.

"But I had to weigh up the pros and cons and while it was hugely flattering and enticing to be asked, I had no choice but to turn the offer down.

"With Gerard, you are signing up to 12-hour days. You have to be totally committed.

"I would throw myself at such a challenge again but at the same time I do not want to uproot my wife and two boys and I'm not someone who could live away from them through the week."

Houllier will take charge of Villa for the first time at Stoke on Monday after being unveiled to the media tomorrow.

But before then he will meet the players - including skipper Stiliyan Petrov, Luke Young and James Collins who all backed caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald to become new manager.

MacDonald's role under the new regime has still to be confirmed by Villa.

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