Aston Villa could name Alex McLeish as new manager inside the next 24 hours.
The Guardian says Villa expect to confirm McLeish as their new manager before the weekend despite the furious reaction of their supporters to his imminent appointment and the threat of legal action from Birmingham City.
McLeish held talks with Villa officials at a secret location in London on Wednesday ahead of a proposed defection across the city on a three-year, £2m-a-year contract.
At the same time a crowd of Villa supporters gathered in protest outside Villa Park while lawyers acting for Birmingham drew up plans to pursue their rivals for compensation and to defend the club against an anticipated charge of constructive dismissal from McLeish.
Former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley, an ex-Birmingham midfielder, believes McLeish has underestimated the animosity that exists between the clubs in the second city.
Curbishley said: "When Ron Saunders went from Villa to Birmingham there was uproar. I can understand the furore that is going to happen if Alex McLeish goes to Villa. I think people outside of the city of Birmingham don't understand the rivalry between the two clubs. It is massive. Perhaps Alex, if he does go to Villa, has not thought that bit out and it is a big situation he is going into. If it does happen, there will be some tricky times ahead."