Aston Villa are looking closely at Steven Gerrard and Roberto Martinez to replace the sacked Dean Smith; Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand had been an outside contender because of his links to Villa director of football Johan Lange
Tuesday 9 November 2021 15:13, UK
Kasper Hjulmand remains committed to his job as Denmark head coach despite being considered to take over at Aston Villa.
Hjulmand says he will not be leaving the post any time soon, despite his links to Villa's Danish director of football Johan Lange putting him on a list, albeit behind top candidates Steven Gerrard and Roberto Martinez.
Preparing his Denmark side for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, he told Ekstra Bladet: "I'm happy to be the Danish national coach, and I'm not going anywhere right now.
"I think I have only just started and I am in the process of finding out what this team can do. I love the job.
"For me, it is a big challenge to see how far we can go (and) how well we can get to play, because we have a very exciting team."
Hjulmand galvanised Denmark to recover from the shock of Christian Eriksen suffering a cardiac arrest in the Euro 2020 group stage to reach the semi-finals, where they lost to England.
He was seen as an outside option for Villa, who are expected to speak to at least five or six managers - or their representatives - as they narrow down their search for a successor for the sacked Smith.
Both Gerrard and Martinez are in work, at Rangers and Belgium respectively, so Villa know they would have to pay compensation, but Martinez is open to the possibility of a move back to the Premier League.
Sky Sports News reporter Rob Dorsett:
"Martinez of course has been Belgium boss since 2016, taking them to world No 1 in the FIFA rankings, but I understand he would be interested in potentially coming back to a management job in the Premier League.
"Steven Gerrard is a more difficult one because he's in place at Rangers doing a very good job there. So, would Rangers be prepared to let him go? How much compensation would they demand? Is Steven Gerrard interested in coming back?
"We know that Gerrard is a close friend of the Villa chief executive Christian Purslow. The two men worked very closely together at Liverpool when Purslow was managing director there from 2009.
"We also expect the Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand to be on that list. He's a close friend of Johan Lange, the Aston Villa sporting director.
"So, there are plenty of names in the frame now for Aston Villa. I expect them to narrow that down over the next few days as they speak to either these candidates or their representatives, but the news we can bring on Sky Sports News is Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard are very much on Aston Villa's shortlist as possible replacements for Dean Smith."
Jamie Carragher says joining Aston Villa would be a "great move" for Gerrard - but ideally he would win a second league title in Scotland first.
Carragher said: "I think Aston Villa as a club would be a great move for Steven Gerrard. But the situation he finds himself in right now is that he took the title away from Celtic last season, and he's in a great position to win it again. I think in a perfect world you'd want to stay at Rangers to the end of the season and come away from there with two titles.
"I mean, this is not something coming from Steven Gerrard but, 'I look I've been in a job for four years in the Scottish Premiership', and I think sooner or later there's going to be a great chance Steven Gerrard is going to come to the Premier League. But for me, it's a difficult one.
"If he got offered the Aston Villa job, I don't think there'd be many jobs in the Premier League which he would get offered better than that. People talk about Liverpool, and that might be another two or three years with Jurgen Klopp but you're not going to get any better jobs, so it would be a decision for him.
"But, in a perfect world, I think Steven Gerrard wants to come away from Rangers with another couple of trophies."