Liverpool hiring Rodgers could kick-start race for Aston Villa job

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert remains the heavy favourite to succeed Alex McLeish, however, Roberto Martinez not getting the Anfield job puts the Wigan Athletic coach in the mix
Aston Villa’s tentative search for a new manager could finally kick into life as reports indicate that Liverpool have chosen Brendan Rodgers as Kenny Dalglish’s successor.

The coach guided Swansea City to a comfortable mid-table finish in their first season in the Premier League but was not in the mix for a Villa Park switch, however, many of his peers - who were also linked with Anfield - happen to be.

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez had been considered the favourite to land the coveted position as Kenny Dalglish’s successor but talks in the US had apparently turned sour.

Rodgers’ appointment on Merseyside means Martinez could now be in line to replace the sacked Alex McLeish. Paddy Power have the Spaniard at a tempting 11/5 (3.20) to trade the DW Stadium for Villa Park.

On the other hand, Norwich City boss Paul Lambert sits as the heavy favourite with Paddy Power at evens (2.00) and many sections of the media are adamant the Scot will not remain at the Carrow Road for long.

McLeish failed at winning over the Villa Park faithful in his one and only season with the club. A poor string of results towards the climax of the campaign ensured the departure the fans had been begging for.

The odds of his successor at Birmingham City, Chris Hughton, taking the job from chairman Randy Lerner have increased slightly in the past fortnight. The ex-Newcastle United coach is now 33/1 (34.00) to move across the Midlands city.

This price could hold a lot of value as Villa Park as Lerner has history at hiring from St Andrew’s and Hughton would not have to relocate to move up to the Premier League club from a side which failed to secure promotion last season through the play-offs.

The fate of Aston Villa could connect even more with Liverpool should Rafael Benitez be the man Lerner looks to.

The former Liga-winning coach is 10/1 (11.00) to be hired as Villa’s new boss which looks like a good value long-shot considering the Spaniard’s public desire to return to English football.

Eye-catching potential picks for the Villans hotseat also include Blackpool’s 33/1 (34.00) Ian Holloway and Chelsea interim coach Roberto Di Matteo who is currently fourth-favourite with Paddy Power at 12/1 (13.00).

Other possible solutions to the position McLeish failed to hold for 12 months include the unemployed managerial trio of Andre Villas-Boas 25/1 (26.00), Mick McCarthy 25/1 (26.00) and Glenn Hoddle 14/1 (15.00).

Any punters thinking of placing money on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are advised against it.

Although he is 16/1 (17.00) to swap Norwegian league champions Molde for Aston Villa, the Manchester United legend has indicated the proposed Premier League post comes too soon in his fledgling managerial career.

Next Aston Villa manager:

Paul Lambert: Evens (2.00)
Roberto Martinez: 11/5 (3.20)
Rafael Benitez: 10/1 (11.00)
Roberto Di Matteo: 12/1 (13.00)
Glenn Hoddle: 14/1 (15.00)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 16/1 (17.00)
Mick McCarthy: 25/1 (26.00)
Andre Villas-Boas: 25/1 (26.00)
Chris Hughton: 33/1 (34.00)
Ian Holloway: 33/1 (34.00)

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