Aston Villa sacked Dean Smith on Sunday after a run of five league defeats. Belgium boss Roberto Martínez and Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand have been linked with the Villa Park job, but it’s unlikely either will leave their current roles.

Danish outlet BT states sources with ‘insight into the work of finding a new manager’ at Villa say Brentford boss Thomas Frank is ‘higher on the list’ at Villa Park.

The 48-year-old initially joined the Bees as an assistant coach in 2016 before taking over the reigns in October 2018. Under his guidance, the club reached the top flight this season.

Despite having a ‘smaller budget’, Brentford have been impressive under Frank, leading Aston Villa to ‘open their eyes’.

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The Birmingham club want to appoint a manager who is either English or has experience of working in the country. Frank replaced Smith at Brentford and is in contention to take his position at Villa.

Aston Villa’s ‘first priority’ is to take Steven Gerrard away from Rangers. If the former Liverpool star refuses to join them, Frank is ‘next man on the list of candidates’, followed by Frank Lampard.

Although Thomas Frank is a managerial candidate for Aston Villa, BT’s suggest he isn’t in favour of leaving Brentford.