Belfast Telegraph

Gerard Houllier hopes to be Aston Villa’s main man

Gerard Houllier would not be interested in a director of football role at Aston Villa and neither are the club intending to implement a two-tier style of management that would incorporate such a role.

After the first round of interviews Houllier has been given indications he is the leading contender. For his part Houllier wants the traditional manager's role that was his after his brief job share with Roy Evans ended at Liverpool and he was left to lead the club alone until his departure six years ago.

Houllier, who turned 63 yesterday, has assured the Villa chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner that is health is not an issue. He suffered a dissection of the aorta — a heart condition — in 2001 from which he made a full recovery.

Houllier has been technical director at the French Football Federation for the last three years. He is regarded by Villa as a safe pair of hands who could guide the club through the difficult post-Martin O'Neill era.

It is the intention of Lerner to have a new manager in place by the end of the international break in time for the game against Stoke on September 13. Others candidates are believed to include Sven Goran Eriksson, and caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald.

Belfast Telegraph

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