By Will Butcher

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett is not in contention to replace Roberto Di Matteo at Aston Villa, according to a reliable journalist.

Villa are looking to replace the Italian after chairman Tony Xia axed him following a dismal run that saw the Midlands giants win just once in 12 league and cup encounters.

However, a move for highly rated young manager Rowett has been ruled out by BBC journalist Pat Murphy, who revealed on his personal Twitter account that the “process of elimination” is set to continue.

Rowett is close to his two-year anniversary at Villa’s rivals Birmingham, after taking over at St. Andrews following an impressive spell at newly promoted Championship outfit Burton Albion.

In his first season, Rowett masterminded an incredible turn of fortunes for the Blues. After assuming the reigns, Birmingham were languishing above the relegation zone in 21st place, but Rowett miraculously orchestrated a fight back that saw them finish 10th.

This season, the former Derby County and Birmingham defender has continued his fantastic work by helping his side lose just one league game from 11. The Blues sit in sixth place with 20 points.

Rowett was one of many names reportedly on the shortlist of Xia, with the likes of Steve Bruce, Brentford boss Dean Smith, Bristol City manager Lee Johnson and even a return for Tim Sherwood on the cards.

However, it seems Villa chiefs have opted to rule out a move for Rowett.

In other Aston Villa news, this former board member has had his say on who Villa should appoint.