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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Remi Garde leaves Aston Villa 'by mutual consent' as relegation looms

Remi Garde leaves Aston Villa bottom of the league.

Aston Villa have announced that manager Remi Garde has left the club "by mutual consent."

Villa are bottom of the Premier League, 12 points from safety with relegation to the Championship appearing a certainty.

Garde was only appointed as Villa manager on Nov. 2 after Tim Sherwood left the club, but was unable to turn results around. Eric Black has been appointed as caretaker boss.

Garde, a former Lyon boss, won just two league games after taking over from Sherwood and Villa have lost their last six and conceded 18 goals in the process.

Garde was understood to be unhappy with his failure to be backed in the transfer market in January, with Villa opting not to sign a player despite his personal efforts.

The 49-year-old's departure follows a shake-up of the Villa board since the turn of the year, with both chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt quitting in the past fortnight.

Chairman Steve Hollis, who took over that role from club owner Randy Lerner in January, has been conducting an internal review.

Former Football Association chairman David Bernstein and Lord Mervyn King, a former governor of the Bank of England, have recently joined the board, while ex-Villa manager Brian Little has been appointed as an advisor.

Earlier on Tuesday, former FA executive Adrian Bevington took up a role at the club, working with the board on the review into Villa's season.

Lerner has failed to find a buyer for the club after putting it on the market two years ago.

Garde had been expected to leave Villa Park last week, but was still taking training as recently as Tuesday morning.

A statement released by Villa 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."

Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson is an early favourite with bookmakers to be the next manager, with David Moyes, without a club since losing his job at Real Sociedad in November, and former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers also fancied.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, meanwhile, laughed off suggestions he could return to his former club following Garde's departure.

The 64-year-old's contract with the Football Association of Ireland expires after the Euro 2016 finals and he is yet to agree an extension.

However, when he was asked about the vacancy following Ireland's 2-2 friendly draw with Slovakia on Tuesday evening, O'Neill -- who managed Villa between 2006 and 2010 -- said with a smile: "I have a job to do here. I am delighted with the job. How dare you ask me?"

O'Neill's assistant Roy Keane at one point combined his job as the Republic's number two with a similar post under Paul Lambert at Villa, but asked if he could be a candidate, O'Neill said equally light-heartedly: "Well, if he leaves tomorrow, I will be very disappointed."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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