David Moyes has emerged as a leading contender to take over as Aston Villa manager from Remi Garde, who has left the club.
It is understood Moyes, 52, had reservations about taking the job with Villa on the brink of relegation, but a board restructuring could make the post more appealing to the former Manchester United boss.
Garde replaced Tim Sherwood in November but a Villa official visited Moyes in Spain while he was in charge of Real Sociedad before the Frenchman was hired.
Garde left having finally agreed compensation and assistant Eric Black was put in charge for the rest of the season.
Lawyers were at the Villa training ground to finalise matters, with all parties keen for a resolution before Saturday’s home game against Chelsea.
Chairman Steve Hollis, director David Bernstein and adviser Brian Little were also present for discussions.
The delay was down to negotiations over a pay-off, with Garde thought to be arguing that Villa’s refusal to release funds amounted to constructive dismissal, claiming he had been promised January signings.
The club are looking at a British manager with a pedigree for winning promotion. Nigel Pearson and Sean Dyche are also in the frame.
Villa won just twice in the Premier League under Garde and morale at the club is desperately depleted, with staff and players said to be ‘going through the motions’ ahead of the final seven Premier League fixtures.
Assistant Black, appointed in January, will take caretaker charge for the 12.45pm game against Chelsea at Villa Park, with the club opting against Kevin MacDonald, who became temporary boss when Tim Sherwood was sacked.
A club statement read: ‘Manager, Remi Garde, has today left Aston Villa Football Club by mutual consent.
‘The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Remi for all his efforts during a difficult period and wish him well in the future.
‘Eric Black will take over as acting manager until the club appoints a new manager.
‘There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.’
Villa were also busy making an appointment on Tuesday, recruiting former FA executive Adrian Bevington to assist the board.
Bevington worked with Bernstein when managing director of Club England between 2010 to 2015, and will unite with his former colleague as part of the current review of the club’s massive failings, helping to implement required changes.
Bevington was involved in the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager and would advise on a successor to Garde.
He has been working as advisor to Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi on a part-time basis and will continue to do so until the end of the season, but only very minimally.
He is also assisting the Welsh FA ahead of Euro 2016 but his major focus is Villa.
Bernstein said: ‘Adrian has a wealth of experience with over 20 years working at the highest level of football.
‘He worked with many managers and coaches during his 17 years at the FA. I’m convinced his experience, contacts and understanding of football will be a tremendous asset to Aston Villa Football Club.’