Stiliyan Petrov has applied for the vacant manager’s role at his former club Aston Villa, according to Sky Sports.

The 39-year-old has reportedly thrown his hat into the ring after Steve Bruce was axed by the club last week.

The Bulgarian was forced to retire from playing at the age of 33 following a diagnosis with leukemia. He had made over 150 appearances for Villa between 2006 and 2013 after joining the club from Scottish giants Celtic.

Since recovering from his illness, Petrov has coached within Aston Villa’s academy and has also worked with the first-team. He is now ready to step into senior management and has joined the long list of names that are interested in succeeding Steve Bruce.

Despite being a managerial novice, Petrov is a popular figure among the Villa Park faithful and was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2013. He has also experienced playing in Europe with both Villa and Celtic and won over 100 caps for the Bulgarian national team.

Thierry Henry, John Terry, Brendan Rodgers, Eddie Howe and Rafael Benitez have all been linked with the role and the Villa board will be keen to make an appointment before the international break comes to an end.

Academy chief Kevin MacDonald took charge of the first-team last week, overseeing the club’s 2-1 defeat to lowly Millwall.

The defeat saw Villa slip to 15th in the table and they now trail sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday by four points. If Petrov was to take over, one of his priorities would be improving the harmony within the squad after Tammy Abraham expressed his frustration at the dismissal of Bruce.

Villa will lock horns with Graham Potter’s Swansea City after the international break on Saturday 20th October.


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