Villa Park outfit wants a new boss with English top tier credentials.
Aston Villa are only seeking a manager with Premier League experience, according to a statement released by the club.
The club have been without a permanent manager since Martin O’Neill walked out on the club a week before the start of the Premier League season, but are set to interview candidates next week.
The experience requirement effectively rules out a number of potential candidates to succeed O’Neill, including USA coach Bob Bradley and caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald, who will remain in charge until a decision is made.
Bradley had vented his interest in the post but now looks likely to miss out, as does former Benfica coach Ronald Koeman, who had also registered a firm interest in the role.
The statement on the club’s official website reads: “To date, we have immersed ourselves in the process of appointing a new manager and clearly identifying the key criteria this person must meet.
“Two of the traits we believe are of crucial importance are that candidates have experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad.
“We have thoroughly researched potential candidates and have reached out to a variety of contacts we have within the game for advice and guidance, as well as keeping key staff at Villa Park informed and focused.
“We will now start the process of interviewing candidates we believe meet the key criteria required to manage Aston Villa with a view to making an appointment in the near future.” (Sky Sports)
The pre-requisites that the Midlands club has applied to any potential new boss seem to rule out just about every name that has been linked with the Villa Park job, so who is left? Bob Bradley, Ronald Koeman and Kevin MacDonald all seemed big favourites to take the Aston Villa job but all three fail to meet the criteria set out by the club.
The worry must be that the likes of Alan Curbishley and Sven Goran Eriksson now loom as major contenders for the post and for varying reasons neither of these pair would inspire much confidence in the club’s supporters. Curbishley is known primarily keeping clubs out of the drop zone and Swede Eriksson appears to put himself forward for any job that may pay him a high wage.
More worrying are links to the likes of Gareth Southgate but perhaps a better move would be for either Martin Jol or Gerard Houllier?
Who do the fans want to see take the job? Has caretaker boss MacDonald earned himself a shot at the position on a full time basis?