Fresh doubt over Steve Bruce's future after Leeds United target Aston Villa boss
Steve Bruce’s future has been plunged into fresh doubt after it emerged the Villa boss is on Leeds United’s managerial shortlist.
The Yorkshire club sacked Paul Heckingbottom last month and though Marcelo Bielsa remains favourite to replace him, Bruce is also thought to have been approached.
Bruce has previously stated his willingness to battle on at Villa, who have been plunged into a cash crisis after defeat in last month’s Championship play-off final.
But the 57-year-old will not learn the extent of the club’s financial predicament until he returns to Villa Park on Monday.
Technical director Steve Round and other senior figures in the club’s football department will also be present at a meeting where the budget for next season will be laid out.
Villa have endured a tumultuous week which saw them threatened with a winding-up order after missing a tax payment, while chief executive Keith Wyness was also suspended.
Owner Tony Xia is understood to have secured sufficient finance to help the club through the next few weeks, though it is significantly lower than the £50million figure rumoured on social media at one stage on Friday.
Villa still face a fire sale of star players including Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia in order to raise funds.
With Xia in Beijing and Wyness suspended, the day-to-day running of the club is currently being carried out by chief commercial officer, Luke Organ, and Rongtian He, the owner’s personal assistant.
Cost-cutting is not only limited to players and wages. Tony Coton, who was Villa’s head of UK scouting, yesterday completed a move to Sunderland. Fitness coach Massimiliano Marchesi has also been let go, while a number of junior scouting roles are also set to be axed.
Xia has so far declined an offer from a wealthy group of Villa supporters to step in and help, with the owner for now determined to find his own way out of trouble.