By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this

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Remi Garde will be sacked by Aston Villa within the next 24 hours, Football Insider sources understand.

The Premier League strugglers have made the decision to end the Frenchman’s disastrous five-month reign as they step up preparations for life in the Championship next season.

A well-placed source has told Football Insider that Garde is likely to be axed on Monday, with former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson already emerging as the No. 1 target to succeed him.

Villa Under-21s manager Kevin MacDonald is expected to take temporary charge of the first team until a permanent successor is found.

Villa chairman Steve Hollis has made the decision to dismiss Garde as part of a ruthless cull which has already seen chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt axed.

Garde has been a dead man walking since the January transfer window closed and he even forecast that he would be sacked before the end of the season.

Villa failed to make a single signing in the window, leaving him badly exposed as manager with an underperforming squad.

Target man: Pearson has been shortlisted by Villa to replace Garde

Target man: Pearson has been shortlisted by Villa to replace Garde

Pearson is likely to be targeted in the summer as the board prioritise a manager with experience of the Championship. Hull manager Steve Bruce has been discussed but he is unlikely to get the job his connections with bitter enemies Birmingham.

Garde, who oversaw a sixth consecutive Villa defeat on Saturday against Swansea, has only managed two Premier League wins and suffered 12 defeats as the team head for an inevitable relegation.

Former Villa manager Brian Little has been brought in as an advisor and the club will lean on his expertise to find a replacement.