The Next Aston Villa Manager Odds became popular on Tuesday morning when news first broke about Gerard Houllier's impending departure from Villa Park and the early favourite was Fulham boss Mark Hughes and he has remained the favourite since, it is looking increasingly likely he will leave Craven Cottage to join Aston Villa before long.
Things look to be moving extremely quickly, he was odds on favourite almost as soon as odds were offered on Gerard Houllier's replacement and his odds have continued to shorten despite question marks about whether the Aston Villa job is really bigger than the Fulham job. It looks as though it is in Mark Hughes' mind though as he is very short to land the job. This would certainly look a good appointment from Villa's point of view as Hughes has done a decent job wherever he has been but it would be a huge blow for Fulham who would be losing their second strong manager in 12 months after Roy Hodgson left to join Liverpool at the end of the previous season.
There are still other fall back options for Villa if things don't work out with Mark Hughes, Steve McClaren, Roberto Martinez and Carlo Ancelotti are all seemingly on the shortlist and surely the latter named would be the biggest coup for fans, Carlo Ancelotti did a great job at AC Milan and won the double in his first season at Chelsea and he will be a highly sought after manager. Steve McClaren would represent the riskiest proposition after his very unsuccessful stint as England manager and surely the fans wouldn't be happy about his appointment whilst Martinez is interesting, he likes his sides to play good football and will get a bigger job sooner or later, if things fall through with Hughes then backing Martinez looks a good idea as it would suit all parties (except Wigan who might not have much choice).
David Moyes and Rafa Benitez were amongst the early favourites but it wouldn't necessarily be a better job for Moyes than the one he has at Everton and he could hold out for something bigger. Benitez always looked unlikely to go from Inter Milan to Aston Villa and the early money seems to have dried up, he has been on the drift in recent days.