According to Calciomercato.it, Aston Villa are lining up Andrea Stamaccioni as a potential replacement for under-fire boss Steve Bruce.

Bruce’s side have underwhelmed this season after being hotly tipped to achieve promotion and receiving substantial financial backing from new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens. They lie 13th in the table having accumulated just thirteen points from their opening nine games.

Bruce has remained buoyant in the face of fierce criticism but if the Villains fail to find form, he could be handed his P45.

Italian Stamaccioni is unemployed following his departure from Sparta Prague in March 2018, a club he took charge of in May 2017. His playing career was cut short by injury and he moved into coaching with Roma’s youth academy. As his reputation burgeoned, he was plucked by Inter Milan to join their youth set-up but soon found himself in the San Siro hotseat.

After leading Inter for just over a year, the 42-year-old went on to manage Udinese and Panathinaikos before arriving in the Czech Republic with Sparta Prague.

Contact was reportedly made with Stamaccioni in the summer, but the Midlands club opted to keep faith in Bruce. The decision has yet to pay dividends and many supporters have made no secret of their desire to see the former Hull City boss axed.

Despite rumoured interest in the Italian, former Villa defender John Terry and Belgium’s Assistant Manager Thierry Henry have been installed as favourites to take over by bookmakers.

With speculation regarding his future intensifying, Bruce has been linked with moves for several players in an attempt to bolster his squad and potentially save his job. Rumoured targets include Premier League star Gary Cahill and former Liverpool loanee Steven Caulker.

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