Saturday 24 February 2018

Maradona issues come-and-get-me plea to Villa

Sandy Macaskill

Diego Maradona has launched a surreal bid to become the next manager of Aston Villa.

Walter Soriano, Maradona's official European representative, revealed the Argentina legend's love of the English countryside, stunning lack of knowledge of the British tabloid press (he thinks they respect privacy) and let it be known that Maradona would be interested in succeeding Martin O'Neill at the Premier League club.

O'Neill resigned last week and, despite Kevin MacDonald leading them to a 3-0 opening-day victory over West Ham in the caretaker role, the club remain rudderless, with no strategy beyond preparing for the next game, against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League.

Martin Jol and Bob Bradley have been linked with the Midlands club, but Villa insist they will not rush to appoint a new manager.

However, Soriano has suggested that the club could do worse than consider Maradona, who left his post of Argentina coach last month having impressed at the World Cup until they were beaten 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals.

"I think Diego would be very open to the idea of coming to England and managing Aston Villa," Soriano said.

"He is very attracted to English football and the way of life in the country and I know he would be very willing to move there.

"He loves the English countryside and their respect for privacy, so he would be very happy there, especially at a big club like Aston Villa.

"If the owner Randy Lerner wants to make him a serious offer, I am sure he would get a very positive response.

"Diego is currently talking with a number of clubs in Europe -- including another one in England -- about a management role and is looking at his options carefully." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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