Aston Villa hope to appoint former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier as successor to Martin O'Neill at Villa Park in the next 48 hours.[LNB] Houllier is spending the weekend deciding whether to return to Premier League management after a six-year absence.[LNB]He has emerged as the number one option for Villa owner Randy Lerner, who is keen to make an appointment sooner rather than later.[LNB]Houllier was interviewed for the post last week - along with the likes of caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald and Alan Curbishley.[LNB]The indications are former Liverpool boss Houllier would not be against joining Villa in a traditional managerial type of role.[LNB]But reserve team chief MacDonald's coaching skills are highly rated by Lerner - and the Villa players - and he could have a role with the first team.[LNB]Houllier gave little away on his future when questioned after attending Jamie Carragher's testimonial at Anfield yesterday.[LNB]He is currently France's technical director but has come under fire after their disappointing World Cup campaign and may welcome a change.[LNB]There have been question marks raised over Houllier's health after he suffered heart problems during the latter part of his time with Liverpool.[LNB]But he has apparently assured Villa they would have no cause for concern in this direction.[LNB]Lerner wants to bring a new manager in sooner rather than later to give them time with the players when they return from international duty before the match at Stoke on September 13.[LNB]Houllier, who was 63 last week, left Anfield six years ago and has been employed as his country's technical director since parting company with Lyon in 2007.[LNB]He led the Reds to a UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup treble in 2001.[LNB]Villa believe he has the resume to keep them progressing in the right direction after three successive top-six finishes in the Premier League.[LNB]Houllier also enjoyed title success with PSG and spent a decade overseeing the development of French football before moving to Liverpool.