Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has pulled out of the running to become the new Aston Villa manager, Press Association Sport understands.
The former Manchester United striker, currently manager of Norwegian side Molde, was interviewed by Villa owner Randy Lerner over the weekend.
But Solskjaer has opted not to be considered as Alex McLeish's successor for personal reasons.
Solskjaer was the favourite with the bookmakers to take charge of Villa who only just avoided relegation from the Barclays Premier League. But sources close to the club are keen to stress Solskjaer was never offered the job by Lerner.
Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner will now step up their bid in other directions to replace McLeish who was sacked nine days ago.
Brendan Rodgers (Swansea), Paul Lambert (Norwich) and Roberto Martinez (Wigan) are potential candidates. Rodgers and Lambert impressed with their respective clubs during their first season in the Premier League although Press Association Sport understands Villa have yet to approach either club.
Martinez turned down the chance to take charge at Villa last summer after Gerard Houllier was forced to quit on health grounds.
Reports that Solskjaer had further talks about the Villa job before making his decision are also understood to be wide of the mark.
He impressed Lerner after leading Molde to the Norwegian title in his first season after leaving United where he had been reserve team coach.
But it was always Villa's intention to interview all the candidates on their short list before making a decision and they will now continue with that process.