Frank McAvennie can’t understand why Aston Villa are exploring other managerial options with Dean Smith doing a ‘wonderful’ job. 

The former Villa striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, hailed Smith’s influence on key players.

A well-placed Wolves source has told Football Insider that super agent Jorge Mendes is keen for Nuno Espirito Santo to take over at a club with greater financial resources and ambition.

Aston Villa

It is understood Smith’s long-term future is not secure and Villa is regarded as a strong option for Nuno.

Football Insider revealed last month that the Midlands giants have a “strong interest” in the services of Steven Gerrard. 

After a strong start to the season, Villa’s form dipped at the turn of the year with the club now 11th in the Premier League.

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McAvennie told the Villa hierarchy to be careful what they wish for when it comes to replacing a manager.

“Smith has done a wonderful job,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“I can’t see Villa wanting to replace him. That would be a surprise. He’s a Villa boy and he’s done brilliantly for them. 

“He’s worked wonders on Jack Grealish and John McGinn. It would be wrong to replace him. 

“Sometimes clubs go for the big name and it doesn’t work. The guy is a Villa fan, you can’t go wrong. 

“If he was a bad manager I could understand but he’s doing very well. You’ve got to be careful what you wish for.”

Aston Villa

Smith took to Villa job in October 2018 and managed to get the club promoted via the playoffs that season.

He won the Premier League manager of the month award in December 2020 as Villa went unbeaten for five games.

In other news, a West Brom rising star has headed to Aston Villa after permission granted.