By Wayne Veysey

5th Oct, 2018 | 3:11pm

Exclusive: Aston Villa turn attention to Championship promotion specialist

EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Aston Villa are weighing up a move for Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder as they step up plans to recruit a new manager, Football Insider sources understands.

Wilder has emerged as a serious contender for the role at Villa following his success at Bramall Lane.

Wilder is regarded as one of the best young managers in the country following his successes in winning back-to-back promotions in consecutive seasons at Northampton Town and Sheffield United.

The Blades just missed out on the play-off spots last term in their first season back in the Championship and they are currently joint top of the table this campaign with 22 points from their opening 11 games.

A well placed source has told Football Insider that Sheffield United would be loathe to lose Wilder, who signed a new deal at the club at the end of last season, but they are bracing themselves for a move from Villa in the 51-year-old tactician that is now imminent.

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Villa are searching for a new manager following the sacking Steve Bruce earlier this week after a two-year spell in charge at Villa Park.

A number of names have been linked with the job, with Brentford boss Dean Smith and Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca the current bookies’ favourites.

Smith has played down the speculation saying he is happy at Brentford, while a well-placed source has told Football Insider sources that Fonseca is not interested in the job as he would not leave Shakhtar for a club in the Championship.

In other Villa news, it can be revealed the club are ready to lodge a bid for a player in the form of his life after a brilliant 2018.