Aston Villa are close to sacking Dean Smith as manager and handing the reins to John Terry, Football Insider can reveal.

Smith’s position is under major threat after four consecutive league defeats culminating in Monday’s 4-0 thrashing at Leicester City.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that Smith could be axed at the weekend if the team continue their dreadful run by losing to Chelsea in Saturday’s 5.30pm kick-off.

The club hierarchy have discussed promoting Terry from assistant manager and appointing him for the rest of the season.

The 39-year-old has never managed at senior level but has been the number two to Smith since he took over in October 2018.

Villa chiefs are considering the drastic measure as the team lie second from bottom of the Premier League and two points adrift of safety.

Champions League chasers Chelsea travel to Villa Park on Saturday evening for a match that is set to have severe repercussions for Smith.

Villa conceded four goals at Leicester and have the worst defensive record in the division despite spending £125million on new players last summer.

There were also four further signings in the January transfer window in response to an injury crisis.

Villa spent £10million on striker Mbwana Samatta while Pepe Reina and Danny Drinkwater arrived on loan.

Borja Baston arrived on deadline day from Swansea, signing a short-term deal.

In other Aston Villa, it can be REVEALED that the club are telling very popular senior player to find a new club at the end of the season.