Home » EPL, Latest » Houllier to leave Villa by mutual consent over health problems

Aston Villa will confirm this week that Gerard Houllier is to stand down as manager because of health reasons. It is understood that the Frenchman’s final medical reports revealed that a return to management would put his health at too great a risk.

Houllier, who suffered a major heart problem a month before the end of the season which required immediate hospitalisation, had been intending to return to work with two-thirds of his £8 million three-year contract to run. His own assistant, Gary McAllister, had even been briefing to that effect.

However, it is highly likely that Houllier’s contract includes a medical performance clause, which should allow the club to make a cleaner break with Houllier than with Martin O’Neill, who resigned at the start of the season but managed to reach a “very satisfactory” compromise agreement with the club only last week.

Villa will not let sentimentality stand in their way either. Houllier will not be kept on as director of football, nor in any other role which carries responsibility, but he may be offered an honorary title and could be consulted in an advisory capacity.

The club will now turn their primary attentions to finding their third manager in less than a year. Mark Hughes and David Moyes are top candidates, while Carlo Ancelotti will also now come into their thoughts.

Lerner will again look to recruit a manager with Premier League experience, and aim to have him in place by mid-June. The club are expected to announce Houllier’s impending departure tomorrow.

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