Former Aston Villa and Leicester boss 'approached' by Stoke as ex-Birmingham boss emerges as early favourite to replace Alex Neil

Dean Smyth and John Eustace are among the early favourites for the vacant manager's job at Stoke City
Former Aston Villa boss Dean SmythFormer Aston Villa boss Dean Smyth
Former Aston Villa boss Dean Smyth

Former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has reportedly been approached by Stoke City as they look to find a replacement for Alex Neil.

That’s according to Football Insider, who claimed the Championship club have reached out to the out-of-work 52-year-old as they look for someone with the experience to get the Potters back to the Premier League for the first time since the 2017-18 season.

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Smith, who was Villa boss for three years, fits the bill after guiding the club to the top-flight during his first season at Villa Park in 2081-19. He also laid the foundations for Brentford’s emergence as a Premier League force during his three years with the Bees.

The ex-Norwich and Leicester boss finds himself under consideration despite former Birmingham boss John Eustace being the current bookies’ favourite for the vacant Stoke job.

Neil was sacked on Sunday night, following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat at the hands of second-from-bottom Sheffield Wednesday. It was Stoke’s fourth successive Championship loss and their sixth game without a win, leaving them 20th in the table and two points above the relegation zone.

The Potters play host to Swansea on Tuesday night before travelling to West Brom on Sunday.

Smith, who was sacked by Villa in November 2021, has been out of work since leaving Leicester at the end of last season.

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