Aston Villa sack manager Steve Bruce

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Former English and European champions Villa were relegated from the Premier League in 2016.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News understands Paraguay head coach Juan Carlos Osorio would love to manage Villa and is very interested in the job.

Bruce is close to completing two years in charge but Tuesday's chaotic 3-3 draw with Preston is expected to be his final match at Villa Park.

Villa drew 3-3 with Preston on Tuesday night in Bruce's last game in charge having led 2-0 and missed a penalty to earn the win in stoppage-time.

One fan hurled a cabbage at the 57-year-old Bruce before the game, in anger at the team's recent run of one victory in their last 10 games in all competitions. The club added that Bruce's assistants Colin Calderwood, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh were also departing. "We wish them well for the future", Villa said in a statement.

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The most exciting and perhaps most ambitious name on Villa's apparent wishlist is Rafa Benitez, with the Daily Mirror reporting that the Newcastle boss is one target for the new majority shareholders.

Villa was Bruce's ninth different role since starting his managerial career as player-boss at Sheffield United in July 1998.

Billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris stepped in with "significant investment" and, following reports that ex-France striker Thierry Henry was being lined up for the managerial position, they gave Bruce their public backing.

Bruce has also been manager at Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic (twice), Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, Sunderland and Hull City.

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