Villa's manager hunt takes new twist

June 14, 2011
Football - Premier League - Bet Now at Bet365

Aston Villa's search for a new manager has taken a new twist after Birmingham City refused to accept Alex McLeish's resignation.

The Scot resigned via e-mail on Sunday, much to the St Andrew's board's annoyance.

McLeish has been linked with a move to Villa, who on Monday contacted Blues acting chairman Peter Pannu about the Scot's availability.

However, Pannu turned down the approach and it is believed that City are looking for compensation of up to £5.4million.

The latest betting for the vacancy has McLeish at 1.57, while Mark Hughes is 4.50, David Moyes 8.00 and Simon Grayson 34.00.

McLeish has two-and-a-quarter years remaining on the extended contract he signed at St Andrew's in 2010, and could be placed on gardening leave by the Blues.

Villa have endured a difficult fortnight since Gerard Houllier left the club on health grounds. They have been linked with Hughes, Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez before turning their attention towards McLeish.

Pannu said: "I got an e-mail from Aston Villa, finally replying to all of our queries.

"As expected, their legal department said 'now Alex McLeish is a free agent having resigned, we're free to speak to him'.

"Within the first year [of his new contract] he, or the club who sign him, have to compensate us at £5.4million. The first year expires on 30th June. The second year starts 1st July, when the compensation fee is £3million.

"The urgency of the whole thing, with this e-mail from Aston Villa, shows they can't even wait 17 days when the compensation is lower. It shows what this is all about."

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