By Dominic Toner

Aston Villa are set to approach Steve Bruce for their vacant managerial position, according to a report.

The Times claim that Villa will make contact with Bruce in the next few days after drawing up a shortlist of candidates.

The report details that the Midlands club are also set to hand Steve Clarke the opportunity to apply for the position if he impresses during his games as caretaker manager.

Clarke was named as Villa’s temporary boss after the club sacked Roberto Di Matteo on Monday.

Villa are currently 19th in the Championship and the owners have acted firmly in sacking Di Matteo after just 11 league games.

Former Hull manager Bruce is currently without a club after leaving the Tigers in the summer, after guiding them to the Premier League via the play-offs last season.

The 55-year-old has four promotion wins on his CV and would provide experience to a struggling Villa side.

Bruce was installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Di Matteo and could help bridge the 10-point gap to the play-off places.

Clarke worked as assistant manager under Di Matteo and has been given the opportunity to stake his claim for the full-time role.

He has previously worked at Reading and West Brom as a manager but has spent most of his career as an assistant, with Premier League club’s such as Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham.

Villa face games against Wolves, Reading and Fulham after the international break and Clarke will hope to impress in them.

In other Aston Villa news, the club’s official site has posted a bizarre Twitter response to a joke from Virgin Trains.