Steve McClaren on Aston Villa shortlist

Aston Villa are finalising their shortlist of candidates to replace Gerard Houllier - with former England boss Steve McClaren among their targets, Press Association Sport understands.

The midlands club are believed to have sounded out several contenders to see if they are available and interested in the post - including McClaren, who is known to be keen to return to the Barclays Premier League.



Villa owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner will draw up the final shortlist before looking to start conducting interviews on a formal basis, probably at the end of this week.



Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is also understood to have impressed Lerner after helping the Latics avoid relegation and he has still to sign a new three-year contract.



Lerner would ideally like to have Houllier's successor in place by mid-June.



That would give him time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current squad and potential transfer targets before Villa report back for pre-season training on July 7.



McClaren has been much derided for his 17 months spell in charge of England after the 2006 World Cup.



But he has a successful record at club level, winning the League Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup final with Middlesbrough.



After his unhappy England spell, McClaren returned to management with FC Twente and guided the Enschede outfit to the Dutch title although he then had an unhappy time with German club Wolfsburg and was sacked.



Two other candidates, Carlo Ancelotti and Martin Jol, have now slipped out of the picture for differing reasons.



Former Chelsea manager Ancelotti is taking a year's break from coaching while Jol was today appointed Fulham boss in succession to Mark Hughes - the early bookmakers' favourite for the Villa post.



In the long term, former Villa defender Martin Laursen has indicated he would like the chance to manage the club.



Laursen, forced to retire with a knee problem two years ago, will take his coaching badges later this year.



He said: "It would be great to be Villa manager one day. That would be a big dream. But that's a long way off."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy