• Premier League

Villa step up efforts to lure Martinez

ESPN staff
May 24, 2012

Aston Villa are poised to make a second attempt to secure Roberto Martinez as their new manager despite being rebuffed by the Wigan Athletic boss last summer.

Martinez also features on Liverpool's shortlist, which includes the likes of Andre Villas-Boas and Louis van Gaal. Villa face some stiff competition to sign up the Spaniard, but they are ready to make him their No. 1 target.

Although rejected by the 38-year-old last summer, it is understood Villa owner Randy Lerner has received sufficient encouragement to believe Martinez would at least discuss his proposals and hopes he can offer an attractive package and picture of Villa's future.

Lerner is searching for a hungry and emerging figure to revive his club's fortunes and maintains that Martinez fits the bill. Martinez's desire to play an attractive style of football has also impressed Lerner after fans were critical of the approach of the sacked Alex McLeish.

Paul Lambert [Norwich], Brendan Rodgers [Swansea] and Gus Poyet [Brighton] are other potential candidates on Villa's radar as they search for a fourth manager in two years. Lerner flew back to England two days ago from America to step up the managerial search.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been the bookmakers' favourite to replace McLeish but he has opted to stay in Norway with Molde for family reasons. Villa insist the former Manchester United striker was never offered the job after he was interviewed last weekend by Lerner.

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