Report: Preston's Simon Grayson considered for shock Villa return, has links to Brian Little

Simon Grayson is reportedly a leading contender for the Aston Villa job.

According to a report from BBC Sport, Aston Villa have made Preston North End manager Simon Grayson a leading candidate to replace Remi Garde.

Villa chose to move on from Frenchman Garde last month, less than five months into the job having struggled to make any sort of impact at Villa Park since replacing Tim Sherwood back in November.

Eric Black is in temporary charge of the club until the end of the season, with Villa expected to make an appointment once their relegation to the Championship has been confirmed.

Now, BBC Sport report that Villa are interested in appointing Preston North End manager Simon Grayson, who has impressed at Deepdale this season.

The 46-year-old has won promotion with every club he has managed, enjoying that particular success with Blackpool, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Preston, whilst he has also taken North End - who have one of the lowest budgets in the Championship - into the top half this season.

Those exploits have unsurprisingly triggered interest, and Grayson made 49 appearances for Villa as a player, meaning he knows the club inside out.

Additionally, Grayson has major links to Brian Little, who is playing a part in finding Villa's new manager. Little signed Grayson during his time as Leicester City boss, and then signed him again when he became Aston Villa boss.

Grayson then attempted to appoint Little as his assistant at Leeds United back in 2009, as reported by the Daily Mail, but geographical reasons led to that move failing. With a clear bond between the two men, Grayson could become a major contender for the Villa job, even if bigger names are being touted.

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