A trusted source has provided a strong update on the future of Aston Villa manager Dean Smith amid claims they have made contact with Paulo Fonseca.
The pressure is building on Smith with Villa having suffered a fourth straight defeat on Sunday. This time, it was West Ham who got the better of Villa, though the 4-1 scoreline was perhaps given a helping hand by a harsh red card administered to Ezri Konsa. Smith himself was certainly far from happy.
“It wasn’t a red card. The referee saw a still and in full time and thought the ball was going towards the goal,” Smith stated.
“It amazes me, it wasn’t going towards the goal. And Ashley Young was covering.
“That staggers me. It’s not a red card. I thought we were all right with 10 men. We gave as good as we got.”
The result, however, leaves Villa floundering in 15th place, just two points above the relegation zone. And the struggles don’t reflect well on the manager given reports earlier this season of a prospective deadline on his axing.
And the pressure on Smith appears to be building amid claims in the Daily Mail that they have held talks with Fonseca.
The Portuguese coach – strongly linked with Tottenham, not once, but twice – has also been mentioned as the new Newcastle boss. But with the Magpies seemingly closing in on Unai Emery, Villa have reportedly sniffed an opening.
They claim the former Roma boss has been identified by chief executive Christian Purslow should the axe fall on Smith.
And there is also a feeling among some fans that Smith has taken Villa as far as he can.
However, while the trip to Southampton on Friday night cold be key, it’s understood Smith is not of immediate danger of the sack.
As per Birmingham Live, Smith still has a lot of credit in the bank with club owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
And according to Villa correspondent Ashley Preece, the three men still remain very much behind Smith’s regime.
“I’ve been told the board remain right behind the manager despite the run of results. It’s the manner of Southampton on Friday which will point to which direction this ship turns,” he writes.
Therefore, while Smith retains support for now, a fifth straight defeat could be cause for Villa to act.
Fonseca open to Villa move
Currently out of work, Fonseca is reportedly very interested in making a move to Villa should the vacancy arise.
Having been very close to Tottenham over the summer, he is understood to have stufied the English game closely.
And while the Newcastle job also appears to have evaded him, it could be a case of third-time lucky at Villa Park.
He most recently managed AS Roma but was sacked in May 2021, as they made way for Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese has also taken charge of Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk during a solid managerial career to date.