Belgium coach Roberto Martinez could become the next Aston Villa manager but only if his No 2 – Thierry Henry – doesn’t, according to reports.
Sky Sports News claims Henry is leading chase to take over at Villa Park and that the owners also want to bring John Terry back to the club on a coaching basis.
Ex-Everton, Wigan and Swansea manager Martinez led Belgium to third place in the World Cup this summer, with Henry as his No. 3 and Graeme Jones as his assistant.
Jones has since joined Darren Moore at West Brom and Henry has moved up to No. 2 with the Belgian national team having been linked with the Villa job in the summer.
But both Henry and Martinez are claimed to be in the running now, intriguingly Martinez turned down the job in 2011.
Sky Sports News reckons Villa were still working through interviewing their shortlist and may take most of the two-week international break to appoint a replacement.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and Jose Mourinho’s former assistant Rui Faria are also reported to be in the running.
Rodgers was playing it cool when questioned about it at the weekend.
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.”
SSN also claim that John Terry will only return to Villa if the new manager agrees to it. The 37-year-old announced his retirement from playing a few days ago.
Would you want Thierry Henry as Villa manager?
6000+ VOTES SO FAR
Leeds United’s impressive start to the season under Marcelo Bielsa shows why Aston Villa should take a risk when it comes to choosing their next manager.
That’s the view of Tony Cascarino who has urged Villa to appoint Thierry Henry with John Terry as his assistant.
Henry, the former Arsenal striker, is Villa’s preferred candidate to replace Steve Bruce who was sacked last week.
Terry, who announced his retirement as a player on Sunday after spending last season with Villa, is reportedly being lined up as Henry’s assistant should the Frenchman get the job.
Neither Henry, currently a coach with Belgium, nor Terry have any experience of managing or coaching in English football.
And neither did Bielsa before taking over at Leeds – while the same can be said for Nuno Espirito Santo prior to his move to Wolves.
Leeds currently sit third in the Championship while Wolves, champions last season, are looking at home in the Premier League.
Former Villa forward Cascarino, writing in the Times, argued: “A Henry-Terry partnership would be a gamble but it is one from the left-field that could inspire the players and galvanise everyone at the club.
“Wolves last season and Leeds United this year have shown a new trend for managerial appointments in the Championship.
“Nuno Espirito Santo and Marcelo Bielsa, respectively, have brought fresh approaches and a change of style to two big clubs who were in need of a lift.
“It worked for Wolves and it seems to be doing the same for Leeds.
“If Henry and Terry do not have the same effect, then Villa can sack them — managers lose their jobs all the time these days — but at least they will have been bold and tried something different.
“Two big names like this will, at the least, get the fans excited again after a tough few years.
“People may say that two prominent figures with no particular history together won’t work but the fact that they may not be great friends won’t harm them.
“If anything, it will help.
“If Henry were to have Terry as his assistant, that could be a great partnership.
“Managers don’t want ‘yes men’ as their assistants, they want honesty and people who will question their decisions and offer a different perspective.”
Villa are understood to have sounded out Henry and further talks are scheduled to take place in the coming week, with the Championship club keen to make an appointment in time for the October 20 match against Swansea City at Villa Park.
Henry was also on the radar during the summer around the time Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens completed their takeover in July, but the new owners opted to stick with Bruce.
The 41-year-old French World Cup winner, currently employed by the Belgian FA as an assistant to national team boss Roberto Martinez, is eager to get into management.
Source : BirminghamMail