EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Aston Villa face paying Celtic up to £6million in compensation if they want to make Brendan Rodgers their new manager, Football Insider sources understands.
Rodgers is among the front-runners for the vacancy at Villa Park following the sacking of Steve Bruce last week after two years in charge.
Former Liverpool boss Rodgers is under contract at Celtic until 2021 after signing a new four-year deal in April 2017 and Football Insider sources understands it will cost £6million to buy Rodgers out of his £40,000-a-week contract although Celtic could negotiate a deal if both parties decide to go their separate ways.
The likes of Thierry Henry and former Villa defender John Terry have been strongly linked with succeeding Bruce, but a well-placed source has told Football Insider that Rodgers has admirers within the Villa boardroom and they regard him as the “favoured candidate”.
Rodgers boasts more experience than both Henry and Terry and has previously won promotion to the Premier League from the Championship with Swansea with promotion being the target for whoever gets the Villa job.
Rodgers has impressed during his two years at Celtic, winning back-to-back trebles in Scotland as well as going through his first season undefeated.
However, Celtic have struggled to recapture those heights so far this season leading to speculation on Rodgers’ long-term future at Parkhead after the Northern Irishman vented his frustration at not getting enough backing during the summer transfer window.