By Wayne Veysey

4th Nov, 2021 | 4:23pm

Sources: Terry to be sounded out for sensational return as Aston Villa manager plan revealed

Aston Villa will sound out John Terry for a potentially sensational return to the club as manager, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.

The 40-year-old is in the frame to replace Smith if the hierarchy decide to axe him during the international break.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that Smith will be fighting for his job if the club fail to pick up points in Friday’s Premier League clash at Southampton.

There is a sense that Smith is on borrowed time even if his side do stop the rot following four consecutive defeats.

Tellingly, Terry has retained a strong relationship with all-powerful chief executive Christian Purslow since his surprise exit in July.

That makes him a potential candidate to replace his former boss even though he has no management experience.

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Villa are set to step up plans to explore alternatives to Smith if their horror run continues at St Mary’s Stadium.

The Midlands giants have fallen to 15th in the Premier League and are three points above the relegation zone following last Sunday’s sobering 4-1 loss at home to West Ham.

Owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris, as well as Purslow, are fiercely ambitious and are expecting a big improvement on last season’s 11th-place finish.

They regard a top-six spot as an achievable one after mitigating the sale of Grealish with another flurry of expensive signings led by the £25million-plus captures of Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings.

Terry quit Villa Park in July after three years as Smith’s number two to focus on becoming a manager.

His exit on the eve of the new campaign left Smith vulnerable to a poor run of results.

In other news, Agbonlahor issues “worrying” Aston Villa claim after what he’s heard directly from Villa Park.