Roberto Martinez in frame for Aston Villa manager's position

Belgium No 2 Thierry Henry remains prime candidate to succeed Steve Bruce

Roberto Martinez's Belgium assistant Thierry Henry remains the prime candidate to succeed Steve Bruce at Aston Villa
Image: Roberto Martinez's Belgium assistant Thierry Henry remains the prime candidate to succeed Steve Bruce at Aston Villa

Roberto Martinez could become the new Aston Villa manager if his current Belgium No 2 Thierry Henry does not get the job, Sky Sports News understands.

Henry remains the prime candidate to succeed Steve Bruce, with Villa's new owners also keen to bring John Terry to the club as a member of the coaching staff.

Sky Sports News reported on Sunday that Villa were still working through interviewing their shortlist and may take most of the two-week international break to find their man.

Ex-Everton and Wigan boss Martinez, who took Belgium to the World Cup semi-finals, is understood to have admirers among Villa bosses, who also still retain an interest in Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho's former assistant Rui Faria.

Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry guided Belgium to a third-place finish at this summer's World Cup
Image: Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry guided Belgium to a third-place finish at this summer's World Cup

Rodgers distanced himself from Villa after Celtic's win at the weekend but did not rule himself out. Asked if the Championship club had made contact with Celtic, he said: "No I don't believe so.

"At this point in time I think there's probably about 20 names that will be thrown in the hat. Aston Villa is one of the biggest clubs in Britain, in the Championship of course, but it is really a Premier League club that will want to get back in there as quickly as it can.

"I'm sure they'll get a manager that fits for them but, for me, I've got a big job to do here at Celtic. I love my time and my life here and this season we want to go and push on."

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Image: Brendan Rodgers distanced himself from Villa after Celtic's win at the weekend but did not rule himself out

Rodgers previously coached Terry during their time together at Chelsea, and in 2013 the then Blues captain said: "I know Brendan very well. He is a great manager and was brilliant for me and the other players. I can only speak highly of him."

Sky sources understand any possible appointment of Terry at Villa, where the 37-year-old finished his playing career in the summer, remains dependent on the identity of the new Villa number one, as the club will not impose backroom staff on the next head coach.

Meanwhile, Faria also worked with Terry over two spells at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007, and 2013 and 2015, winning three Premier League titles, and FA Cup and three League Cups together.

Martinez, meanwhile, turned down the Aston Villa job in 2011 in a show of loyalty to Wigan and their chairman at the time Dave Whelan. Alex McLeish took the helm instead, and was the first of six managers at the club across the next six years, ending with Bruce's sacking last week.

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