Steve Bruce emerges as Aston Villa frontrunner ahead of Steve Clarke

Steve Bruce
Image: Steve Bruce left Hull City in the summer following a dispute over transfer policy

Steve Bruce is understood to be the leading candidate for the vacant Aston Villa manager's job, closely followed by current interim boss Steve Clarke.

Sky sources understand that both men are in contention, but the struggling Sky Bet Championship club, who sacked Roberto Di Matteo after just 12 games last week, are yet to hold talks with either candidate.

Bruce resigned from Hull City in the summer following a dispute over transfer policy and was among the candidates to take over as England manager following Euro 2016. He previously managed Villa's city rivals Birmingham. 

Roberto Di Matteo and Steve Clarke joins Ben and Kammy on Goals on Sunday
Image: Steve Clarke was assistant to Roberto Di Matteo at Villa before his sacking

Clarke was Di Matteo's assistant since they were appointed by the club's new Chinese owner Tony Xia in the summer.

It is understood the club are hoping to make an appointment before next week's clash with west Midland rivals Wolves.

Earlier on Friday, Huddersfield Town's German manager David Wagner, who has guided the Terriers to the top of the Championship, was seemingly ruled out of the running by the Yorkshire club's chairman Dean Hoyle.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28:  Alex Bruce of Hull City and his father Steve Bruce, manager of Hull City celebrate with the trophy after the Sky Bet Championshi
Image: Steve Bruce secured his fourth promotion to the Premier League and second with Hull in May

Hoyle said in a club statement: "David has told me that he would never leave us for another Championship club, regardless of which club that is."

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Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has also distanced himself from the job.

Villa, who have been through three different managers inside 12 months and were relegated from the Premier League in May, sit 19th in the second tier with one win and seven draws from 11 league games.

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