By Harry Sykes
Senior Aston Villa officials will hold talks on Monday to discuss the candidates to replace Roberto Di Matteo as manager, according to a report.
The Guardian claim Di Matteo will be axed after owner Tony Xia accepted that there is little option but to make a change after such a disappointing start to the season.
It is said Villa chiefs will hold further talks on Monday, with Di Matteo’s departure viewed as a formality and attention already turning to the Italian’s replacement.
The report states that the leading contenders for the position are Steve Bruce and David Wagner, the manager of high-flying Huddersfield Town.
Bruce would bring with him experience of winning promotion from the Championship while Wagner has made a stunning impact since taking over at Huddersfield in November last year.
German Wagner has steered the Terriers to the top of the Championship table with 25 points from their opening 11 games.
Wagner recorded a 1-1 draw against Villa earlier on in the season, when the Championship table toppers snatched a draw at Villa Park.
Di Matteo’s fate was reportedly sealed on Saturday, when Villa slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Preston North End at the end of what was seen as a defining week for the manager.
The Midlands club are 19th in the Championship after winning only once this season – against Rotherham United on 13 August – and with only 10 points from 11 matches.
Di Matteo has enjoyed significant backing in the transfer market and spent more than £50m in the summer assembling a squad with a view to securing an immediate return to the Premier League after relegation last season.
In other Aston Villa news, supporters have reacted on Twitter to new Bruce rumours.