Aston Villa have shortlisted Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe as a potential replacement for the axed Steve Bruce, according to the Daily Record.

Howe has been in charge at the Vitality Stadium since October 2012, when he returned to the club for his second spell as manager following a year with Burnley.

It would be a huge shock if Howe was to swap the Cherries for the Villains, as his current side are sixth in the Premier League table and trail leaders Manchester City by just four points.

However, Villa have already shown ambition in their pursuit of a new manager, reportedly interviewing Premier League legends Thierry Henry and John Terry for the vacant role.

The search officially began last Wednesday, when Steve Bruce was dismissed. The former Hull City boss was given his P45 after failing to lift the club out of mid-table obscurity and being struck with a cabbage by an incensed supporter.

Howe is just one of several names to be linked with the role, as the likes of Brendan Rodgers, David Moyes and Rafael Benitez are also said to be in the frame.

However, it seems that Henry is the current favourite and former Villa defender Martin Keown has claimed that the Frenchman always ‘had the makings of an outstanding manager’.

“I can safely say that I never ever saw those two as a partnership. But never be surprised in football.

“I think Henry always had the makings of being an outstanding manager, there’s no doubt about that. He feels fit to bring Terry as his assistant, he will know the club exceptionally well, of course he will. He’s only just left the football club.

“I dearly hope that Villa can get back to where they once were as a football club. I spent three years there myself, I went through the process of being relegated and then promoted. I have to say it was the most joyous I have ever felt in getting that promotion. The fans, the club, it’s a very big club there, Villa.

“It will be hurting at the moment but I really sincerely hope that if Henry gets it that he can turn this club around.”

The Midlands strugglers will be hoping to make an appointment during the international break and Swansea City could be the first side to face the new manager when they visit on Saturday 20th October.