Aston Villa: Steve Clarke in charge as manager search starts

By Pat MurphyBBC Radio 5 live
Roberto di Matteo and Steve Clarke
Roberto di Matteo brought in his former Chelsea team-mate Steve Clarke (left) as his assistant at Villa Park shortly after his own appointment in June

Aston Villa caretaker boss Steve Clarke is on an initial list of 10 candidates to succeed the sacked Roberto di Matteo as the Championship side's manager.

Clarke, 53, has been in charge at West Brom and Reading and assistant at Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham.

Ex-Hull City boss Steve Bruce, Sean Dyche of Burnley, Bristol City's Lee Johnson and Huddersfield's David Wagner are among the preferred candidates.

An appointment is not expected this week but interviews are set to start.

Di Matteo was dismissed on Monday with the club - who were relegated from the Premier League last season - 19th in the Championship after just one win in 11 league matches.

Their next fixture is the West Midlands derby against Wolves at Villa Park on 15 October.

Dr Tony Xia, Villa's owner, is in China on business and will not be directly involved in the recruitment process until the shortlist is reduced to three.

Among the out-of-work managers not under consideration at this stage, contrary to media speculation, are former England managers Sam Allardyce and Steve McClaren, suspended Derby County boss Nigel Pearson and former Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs and ex-Burnley and Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill.

Former Villa boss Tim Sherwood, Luton Town's highly rated Nathan Jones and Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett, a boyhood Villa fan, are also not in the frame.

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