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The Canaries are set to scan the top European leagues for new Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert’s replacement, but candidates without relevant experience will not be considered

Norwich City chief executive David McNally has confirmed that the club will embark on a Europe-wide search to fill their managerial vacancy.

Former boss Paul Lambert was confirmed as Aston Villa manager on Saturday after guiding the club to back-to-back promotions before a 12th-place finish in the Premier League.

Malky Mackay had been linked with the position, but McNally has seemingly ruled out a move for the Cardiff City boss, instead insisting that top-flight experience is a must.

The Scot has left the Canaries and signed a three-year contract at Villa Park

Speaking to the EDP, McNally said: "I don’t think the candidate necessarily has to have Premier League experience, but they have to have top league experience.

"By that if, for example, you have managed in Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, they are some of the toughest leagues in the world too.

"So why on earth if there is a candidate in one of those leagues who was available and we felt was right for us should we say no to them just because they haven’t managed in the Premier League?"

Birmingham City manager Chris Hughton, who managed in the Premier League with Newcastle United, is the rumoured front runner for the vacancy at Carrow Road.

The 53-year-old has already been approached by West Bromwich Albion with a view to replacing England manager Roy Hodgson.

Former Canaries defender Steve Bruce, who played for the club 141 times, is also one of the favourites for the job, but McNally emphasised that the search for a manager would not be confined to the UK, with candidates from other leagues being considered.

"The search is certainly a European search. I should stress too that when we appointed Paul we appointed Paul because he had the relevant experience," he added.

"We were in League One and Paul had been managing in League Two and League One and what we needed at that time was somebody who had lower league experience.

"Clearly what has happened since the last time we were looking for a manager is that the league that we play in has changed fundamentally and so we are looking for somebody who has got top league experience."