Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Aston Villa boss options narrow as comments emerge from exciting candidate

Kasper Hjulmand Denmark October 2021

Aston Villa’s boss options appear to be narrowing with the emergence of an interview from Denmark national team manager Kasper Hjulmand.

Hjulmand, who guided Denmark to the Euro 2020 semi-finals, has seen his stock rise dramatically over the last 12 months. So much so that Villa are understood to be considering the 49-year-old Danish coach. The Sun report that Hjulmand could potentially succeed Dean Smith at Villa Park after his sacking this weekend.

Johan Lange, the Aston Villa director of football, is a fellow Dane and that may well be where the link has emerged from. But any deal for the former Nordsjaelland coach will prove tricky.

Especially when you consider an interview he did with Ekstrabladet last month, which has been flagged up by Sport Witness.

Hjulmand said: “I received several enquiries over the summer, but I have rejected them all. I haven’t spent two seconds considering the possibilities.”

Asked if this was because they were not interesting, he added: “No, not at all. These were super interesting enquiries, but I feel like I have just started as a national manager. There are a lot of things we are doing. Things that we need to develop and improve.

“I love the job. For me, it’s a big challenge to see how far we can go. How well we can get to play because we have a very exciting team with great potential.”

So it does sound as if Hjulmand is settled in his role with Denmark. He penned a four-year deal in 2020 when the Danish Football Association (DBU) saw Age Hareide step down.

Already John Terry is understood to be out of the running to replace Smith.

According to The Sun, the lack of experience will go against Terry, who stepped down from his assistant coach role at Villa in the summer.

Villa’s fifth straight defeat in the Premier League against Southampton on Friday night was the final straw for Villa’s new owners.

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Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris are in no mood to be patient this season. Reports in September suggested Smith was battling to save his job after an indifferent start to the season.

Smith was under massive pressure to improve on last season’s 11th-placed finish. The arrivals of Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey – all signed for sizeable fees, only heaped more pressure on the former Walsall boss.

The Telegraph name Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl as contenders.

Ironically, Hasenhuttl oversaw Southampton ‘s 1-0 win over Villa on Friday night – the result that saw the axe wielded.

And now, as per The Sun, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has joined Gerrard and co at the top of Villa’s wish list.

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