Nigel Pearson the front-runner for Aston Villa job
Nigel Pearson is the front-runner for the Aston Villa job as the club prepare for relegation.
Villa are yet to officially make their move as they compile a shortlist to replace Remi Garde, who left last month after only being appointed in November.
The club's football board - David Bernstein, Brian Little and Mervyn King - are tasked with finding the club's fourth manager in just over a year.
Villa are looking for a boss with experience in the Sky Bet Championship and Pearson won the league in 2014 with Leicester.
He kept them in the Barclays Premier League last season, winning seven of their final nine games to survive, but left in June after a breakdown in his relationship with the owners.
Ex- Huddersfield and Charlton boss Chris Powell is reportedly his choice for a No.2 with former assistants Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh close to agreeing new deals at Leicester.
Pearson was keen on the job in October when Tim Sherwood was sacked but was never approached as Villa chose Garde, who won just three of his 23 games.
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy has not distanced himself from the role and remains a contender while David Moyes is reportedly keen.
Villa will be relegated on Saturday, the first time they have dropped out of the top flight since 1987, if Norwich avoid defeat to Sunderland or if they fail to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.
They have been bottom since November and Eric Black is currently in caretaker charge with Villa having lost their last eight games.