Former Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is set to be interviewed for the vacant position at Aston Villa, it has been announced.
In a statement, Villa said that they saw no barriers to his potential appointment, despite Birmingham’s assertions to the contrary.
“The club understands that Alex McLeish is a free agent,” the club said. “We therefore intend to interview him imminently.”
However, Birmingham believe an approach would go against Premier League rules on the appointment of managers contracted to other clubs.
“Birmingham finds Villa’s announcement to proceed with an interview with Alex McLeish a contempt of Premier League and FA rules,” the Blues said in their riposte.
“The club feel this will taint football and give the game and the footballing authorities a bad name if this is allowed to materialise. We will lodge a formal complaint as there is now not the slightest doubt remaining about this tap up attempt.”
McLeish resigned from his position at Birmingham by email on Sunday, with rumours of a possible move to Villa Park circulating almost immediately.
However, the former Scotland boss has denied that the vacancy had anything to do with his exit, instead asserting that behind-the-scenes conflict had forced his hand.
For their part, the Villans have been without a manager since the confirmed departure of Gerard Houllier earlier this month, with the Frenchman having also missed last season’s run-in following a health scare.
The uncertainty at Villa – with key players being linked with moves away from the club and the managerial appointment process seemingly beset by problems – means the club are attractive outside bets for relegation at 22/1.
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