Next Aston Villa manager: Former Newcastle United captain, Leeds United and Arsenal managers among early candidates

Aston Villa are beginning their search for Steven Gerrard’s successor at Villa Park.

Aston Villa’s 3-0 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Thursday night signalled the end of Gerrard’s 11-month tenure. Gerrard leaves Villa in 17th place and outside the relegation zone only on goals scored.

A statement from the club read: “Aston Villa football club can confirm that head coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect. We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”

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Villa now join Bournemouth and Wolves in the search for a new permanent manager. One early candidate for the role had been former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino, however, reports today have distanced the Argentine from the Villa Park vacancy.

Scott Parker has emerged as an early candidate for the Aston Villa vacancy (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim, who had been linked with a switch to Molineux, has emerged as an odds-on favourite - according to Bet Victor. Other early candidates include: Unai Emery (5/1), Michael Beale (12/1) and Thomas Frank (8/1).

Emery, who rejected the opportunity to become Steve Bruce’s successor at St James’s Park, may feel he has unfinished business in the Premier League, however, with Villa perilously close to the relegation zone, he may feel it is a big risk to leave Villareal. QPR boss Beale worked under Gerrard at Rangers and has recently rejected the opportunity to become Bruno Lage’s replacement at Molineux.

Villa’s first match in the post-Gerrard era is a clash against Frank’s Brentford side on Sunday. Other managers to be tipped with being the new man in the Villa dugout are Sean Dyche (6/1), Scott Parker (12/1), Kjetil Knudsen (16/1), Marcelo Bielsa (16/1).

Former Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder has been given odds of 20/1 to replace Gerrard at Villa Park. Rafa Benitez, who has been out of a job since leaving Everton in January, has also been given odds of 16/1 to return to management.

Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is the early-favourite to replace Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP) (Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images)
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As usual, familiar names to north east football, including Sam Allardyce and Roy Keane have also been linked but given very outside shots of landing the vacant role.

Steve Bruce, who was recently sacked by West Brom, has been given a 66/1 shot of returning to Villa Park as manager for a second stint.