Villa Park boss forced to resign over ill-health.
Aston Villa are today searching for a new manager after Gerard Houllier has left the club by mutual consent following doctor’s advice.
The Frenchman was told by medical reports that he would be putting his health at risk if he returned to duty with the Midlands club.
Chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner have already identified Rafael Benitez, Carlo Ancelotti and David Moyes as potential successors.
Houllier, who took over at Villa Park in September last year, missed the last few weeks of the season after his latest heart scare, with Gary McAllister filling in as caretaker manager.
The Birmingham Mail reports the club felt it unfair to risk aggravating his condition by insisting he return to the manager’s post after looking at his latest test results.
Houllier has two years to run of the contract he signed when replacing Martin O’Neill as Villa manager, and any possible severance package would have to be finalised if he leaves.
He has struggled to win over the Villa fans despite a revival in the second half of the season which saw the club finish ninth in the Premier League.
The prospect of him leaving the club on the grounds of ill health raises a question whether he would ever be able to return to management.
His heart condition also saw him take five months away from the dugout when managing Liverpool in 2001, entrusting team affairs to his assistant Phil Thompson.