Houllier considering Villa offer
Gerard Houllier is currently considering whether to take the vacant managerial position at Aston Villa. The former Liverpool boss has been offered the job at Villa Park following Martin O'Neill's decision to step down shortly before the start of the season. Houllier, 63, is currently technical director of the French Football Federation (FFF) and is weighing up a return to the Premier League after an absence of six years. The Frenchman was interviewed for the job last week as owner Randy Lerner looks to make an appointment sooner rather than later, and caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald and Alan Curbishley are also in the frame. However, it is Houllier who is expected to take the reins of the Midlands outfit after stepping down from Lyon in May 2007. He was initially thought to be considered for a director of football role at Villa, but has confirmed that he has been offered the manager's job with a decision expected this week. "The club took the initiative," he told France Football. Houllier was present at Anfield on Saturday for Jamie Carragher's testimonial, but remained tight-lipped on his future. He is thought to welcome a change in his current role with the FFF, after coming under criticism following Les Bleus' disastrous World Cup campaign. Lerner wants to get a man in place before the match with Stoke next Monday, and the experienced tactician who led Liverpool to a UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup treble in 2001 is set to be appointed. Villa's only other foreign manager has backed Houllier to be a success if he does take the job. Jozef Venglos had an ill-fated spell in charge two decades ago as Graham Taylor's successor in which they only just survived relegation from the old First Division. But the Czech coach knows Houllier well through their involvement in football and is confident he will fit the bill at Villa. Venglos said: "I am sure that Aston Villa and Gerard Houllier are right for each other. "It is a very good, well-run football club and Gerard is an excellent, experienced coach so they will work well together. "He has very good contacts and I know him well through my involvement with UEFA and FIFA. "I have met him many times and I respect him very much. He has shown his qualities in different countries. I think he will do a good job."
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