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Houllier leads the pack in chase for Villa job

Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is now the favourite candidate to replace Martin O'Neill as Aston Villa boss, Press Association Sport understands. Houllier left Anfield six years ago and has been employed as technical director at the French Football Federation since parting company with Lyon in 2007.

But he has been interviewed by Villa owner Randy Lerner and created a favourable impression with the American multi-millionaire.

The Frenchman enjoyed considerable success with the Reds and led them to a UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup treble in 2001.

Villa sources believe he has the reputation and CV to keep Villa on an upward curve after three successive top six finishes in the Barclays Premier League.

Former West Ham boss Alan Curbishley and caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald have also been interviewed for the post by Lerner and Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner.

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