By Will Butcher

Tony Xia has revealed that Aston Villa have whittled down their managerial shortlist from 25 managers to just two.

The Villa owner is looking to replace Roberto Di Matteo before the end of the international break, after opting to sack the Italian following a dismal run of one win in 12 league and cup encounters.

There have been dozens of managers linked with the post this week and Xia revealed the latest on his personal Twitter account.

The outspoken Chinese businessman also denied that the decision to fire Di Matteo on Monday was as a result of impatience from himself and the rest of the Villa board.

Former Birmingham City and Hull City boss Steve Bruce remains the favourite to replace Di Matteo, with Championship managers Lee Johnson, David Wagner and Dean Smith also closely linked to the post.

However, Xia has revealed that he is now shortened Villa’s list of potential suitors to just two managers that he believes can end the Midlands’ giants poor run of form.

Villa have been unable to put together a decent run of form following their relegation from the Premier League last term, which saw them finish on just 17 points.

Despite almost £60million being spent on the likes of Ross McCormack, Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester, Villa currently find themselves in 19th position and just two points off the relegation zone.

Villa’s new manager will be thrown in at the deep end as they face Midlands rivals Wolves on October 15.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Shearer has claimed this manager has held talks with Villa.