By Amir Mir

Steve Bruce has spoken to Aston Villa chief executive Keith Wyness on three occasions since Wednesday about the vacant managerial post, according to a reliable journalist.

BBC Sport Midlands reporterPat Murphy stated on his personal Twitter account that former Birmingham City boss Bruce has held exploratory talks with Wyness, including a 20 minute phone call on Friday.

Free agent Bruce is currently the bookies’ favourite to replace Roberto Di Matteo, having left Premier League outfit Hull in the summer after helping them to promotion last season.

Murphy also stated that the club’s caretaker boss Steve Clarke is also in contention for the job, as the Midlands reporter explained the details regarding Bruce’s talks with Villa

“Steve Bruce had exploratory talks with Keith Wyness Villa’s chief exec 3 times since Wednesday,” Murphy wrote on his personal Twitter account. “The last a 20 minute chat yesterday. Waiting for the club to get back to him now.

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“No formal interview as yet. Bruce told the ‘process was ongoing’. Steve Clarke shouldn’t be ruled out.”

Other managerial candidates such as Bristol City boss Lee Johnson and Huddersfield Town manager Neil Wagner have ruled themselves out of the running to take over at Villa Park.

However, on Saturday afternoon leading bookmaker William Hill shortened Burnley manager Sean Dyche’s odds from 33/1 to 8/1 to take charge at the Midlands club.

Villa have recorded ten points from 11 games this season, with only one victory in 12 games in all competitions this term.

Walter Zenga’s Wolves will be looking to inflict another defeat on their Midlands rivals, when both sides beat on October 15 at Villa Park.

In other Aston Villa news, the club’s star man has been passed fit for the Wolves clash, despite suffering an injury while on international duty.