Thierry Henry is the favourite to become Aston Villa manager, heading a shortlist that includes John Terry and Brentford boss Dean Smith.
The France legend quit his £4million-a-year role with Sky to concentrate on securing a job in management and Sportsmail understands Nassef Sawiris, one of the club’s joint owners, is driving the deal to recruit him after axing Steve Bruce.
Villa insist that other options are being considered, including Terry, who is similarly hungry to become a manager. Smith, whose star is rising for the work he has done at Griffin Park, is also a candidate.
There have been dramatic changes at Villa, which began when seven members of the scouting team were sacked before Bruce, who was paid £1.7million a year, and his coaching team paid for a desperate run of form.
Christian Purslow, Villa’s chief executive, planned to look for a manager during next week’s international break but it could be resolved within days.
Henry could be a risky appointment as he is a managerial novice but there is no question he would grab headlines.
He has already indicated to Villa that he wants the job, having rejected Bordeaux last month, and it is now going to come down to his salary and length of contract.
Villa’s hierarchy have considered a number of options to replace Bruce, among them Slaven Bilic, who was appointed the head coach of Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad last week.
The highly-experienced Paulo Sousa, who has just quit Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, has also been discussed.
Egyptian billionaire Sawaris is a huge admirer of Henry, was an Arsenal season-ticket holder during the French striker’s glory years there and believes he will bring style to the Midlands club.
Sawaris and co-owner Wes Edens vowed to inject significant investment to get Villa into the Premier League and having a manager with Henry’s profile would undoubtedly make them attractive to potential signings.
Villa have won only one of their last 10 games and are 13th, seven points behind leaders Leeds.