By Coral Barry

Nigel Pearson has been installed as the new bookmakers’ favourite to be the next Aston Villa manager.

The odds on the former Leicester boss replacing under-fire Remi Garde tumbled on Wednesday, with Paddy Power making him the 4/6 favourite ahead of Steve Bruce.

Reports that Garde is on the verge of the sack broke on Monday night with the claim that the Frenchman was to be told of his fate in a meeting with new chairman Steve Hollis on Tuesday.

Villa are rock bottom of the Premier League table, a massive 12 points away from safety and staring the Championship in the face.

Heads have already begun to roll at the Midlands club as they prepare for relegation with sporting director Hendrik Almstadt and chief executive Tom Fox sacked last week and owner Randy Lerner may feel Garde should be the next out the door.

Pearson has not been in work since his spectacular fall-out with former employers Leicester last summer.

Following a string of controversies, including calling a journalist an ostrich and getting into a swearing match with a fan, the Thai owners eventually lost patience with the argumentative 52-year-old.

That is despite Pearson’s remarkable achievement of steering the Foxes away from almost certain relegation last season.

On guard: Villa manager Remi Garde had targeted Debuchy in the January window

On guard: Villa manager Remi Garde is facing the axe

Leicester went on an incredible run of six league wins from their last eight matches to ensure their top-tier status despite looking dead and buried in April after just four victories up to that point.

Pearson will not be expected to produce another great escape if appointed Villa manager but instead will be tasked with winning promotion straight back into the Premier League next year.

That is something the Englishman has plenty of experience with after gaining promotion with Leicester two years ago.

The Foxes ended the 2013-14 as champions, therefore ensuring automatic promotion into the top-tier of English football after suffering play-off heartbreak the season before.

A two week international break has given Villa the chance to reflect on their campaign so far.

In other Villa news, one star has given an update on his recovery from injury.