Aston Villa are closing in on Tim Sherwood and the Midlands club are in advanced talks with the 46-year-old with a view to him replacing Paul Lambert as manager.
Although nothing has been formally agreed, Sherwood has held discussions with Tom Fox, the Villa chief executive, and it is possible that an
announcement could be made before fifth-round FA Cup tie at home against Leicester City for which the first-team coach Scott Marshall has been put in
Villa have made it their mission to bring in a long-term successor to Lambert rather than a firefighter until
the end of the season and they also want to make a swift appointment.
With Sherwood out of work since losing his job as Tottenham Hotspur manager at the end of last season and believed to be keen on the Villa role, the only potential obstacle is personal teams.
Other names have come under consideration as part of an exhaustive search over the last 48 hours but the
job appears, as of now, to be Sherwood’s to lose.
He fits with Villa’s philosophy of bringing in a progressive, highly motivated manager who is keen to give young players a chance and he would arrive with a point to prove after being overlooked for a number of other Premier League jobs since leaving White Hart Lane.
While nothing has been finalised as yet, and there is always the possibility of another name emerging late on in these situations, the fact Fox has spoken to Sherwood and those talks have progressed into something more serious suggests the club are edging
closer to getting their man.
He is the clear frontrunner.
The task of identifying a new manager has been far from straightforward for Fox and Paddy Reilly, the club’s director of recruitment, especially with Villa keen to avoid further upheaval by making a stop-gap appointment.
With the managerial landscape barren and those in post reluctant to leave their positions at this stage of the season, it has not exactly been an ideal environment to be trying to recruit a permanent replacement for Lambert who was sacked on Wednesday after 10 games without a win.
The fact that the team are third from bottom in the table and the transfer window has closed has not helped the situation, leaving Fox with the sizeable challenge of convincing those on the club’s shortlist that managing Villa is an attractive proposition.
Eddie Howe ticked all the boxes – he is very highly regarded at Villa but there is no chance of enticing the 37-year-old away from Bournemouth where he is settled and hell-bent on leading the Championship club into the Premier League.
It is understood that no contact was been made with Howe or Bournemouth Villa knew that they would be wasting their time if they went down that particular path.