By Editor Wayne Veysey

Aston Villa are in talks with Remi Garde as they step up plans to appoint a new manager, Football Insider sources understand.

The Midlands club have approached the former Lyon manager, who is on a sabbatical after leaving the French club in 2014 following three years at the helm.

Garde has emerged as the early frontrunner to replace Tim Sherwood, who was sacked as manager by Villa earlier today.

Sherwood becomes the third Premier League casualty this season after an alarming run of six consecutive defeats.

Villa crashed to their eighth defeat from ten League games against Swansea on Saturday and Sherwood’s reign is over just five months after he steered them to relegation safety and the FA Cup final.

The Midlands club want an experienced manager to maintain their top-flight status and sources have said their ambitious targets include Real Sociedad boss David Moyes and Frenchman Garde, who played for Arsenal for three years in the mid 1990s.

Villa chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Tom Fox on Saturday night decided Sherwood should be sacked following talks on Saturday night.

Sherwood has paid the price for a dreadful start to the season and the club are now looking for their third manager of the year.

Villa, who sold their two best players Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph in the summer, are understood to accept that the poor start to the season is not solely down to Sherwood but felt they had to act or risk the club slipping even further adrift in the table.

A Villa manager statement was published on their website: “Aston Villa Football Club has parted company with manager Tim Sherwood today.

“The Board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results on the pitch were simply not good enough and that a change is imperative.

Red alert: Christian Benteke left Aston Villa for Liverpool in the summer

Red alert: Christian Benteke left Aston Villa for Liverpool in the summer

“However, the Club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Tim for all his efforts during a difficult period last season and for the many positive contributions he has made to the entire football setup during his time with the Club. We wish him well in the future. Assistant manager Ray Wilkins, first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady have also left with immediate effect and do so with our best wishes.

“A search for a new manager has commenced and the squad will be managed in the interim by Kevin MacDonald.”