Former Chelsea manager emerges as shock contender for Aston Villa job

Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is in poll position after being identified by the Villa board but the club has been unable to move with chairman Steve Hollis actively negotiating with potential buyers.

A Chinese consortium believed to be in the running is thought to have thrown up the Di Matteo link.

The Italian is keen to get back into club management after being out of work since leaving German outfit Schalke.

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