Aston Villa have made the first step towards replacing Dean Smith by initiating informal contact with Paulo Fonseca, The Daily Mail report.
The Lowdown: Smith’s position in ‘serious jeopardy’
Dean Smith’s position at Villa Park is thought to be in ‘serious jeopardy’ after Villa suffered four straight defeats in October, according to Daniel Storey, The i newspaper’s chief football writer.
Villa have fallen to 15th in the Premier League, just three points above the relegation zone before they take on 14th place Southampton on Friday – a defeat in that fixture could be devastating for the boss if Storey’s claims are true.
The 48 year-old certainly has his plaudits, with Pep Guardiola praising his Shakhtar side when they met in the Champions League group stages in 2018.
Fonseca for Smith?
Yes, do it now!
No, definitely not!
The Latest: Fonseca in contact with NSWE
According to The Daily Mail’s Craig Hope, Villa chiefs have contacted Fonseca’s representatives, with sources stating Smith is on borrowed time in the Midlands.
The report states that Christian Purslow was backing Smith just last week, however, with NSWE seemingly now plotting a possible move for Fonseca, who has been described as an ‘intelligent’ tactician by Chris Smalling, things may have changed.
The Verdict: Friday key?
With Villa in a dreadful run of form, Friday’s meeting with the Saints prior to international football taking centre stage could be make or break for Smith.
Lose, and Villa, in the worst-case scenario, could find themselves in the relegation zone. Should that be the case, Villa chiefs may then decide to pull the plug on his three-year tenure in charge and bring in Fonseca.
The Portuguese coach plays a 3-4-2-1 system and has been described as ‘similar to Tuchel’, and if he moves to Villa Park and makes half the impact the Chelsea boss has already made at Stamford Bridge, it could prove to be an inspired decision.
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