Aston Villa have made Paul Lambert their number one target to become the new manager at Villa Park amid speculation he has quit as Norwich boss, according to widespread reports.
Villa had also been linked with Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, who now is set to stay at the DW Stadium, but will make an official approach for Lambert as they look to find a successor to the sacked Alex McLeish.
Lambert has guided the Canaries to two successive promotions since taking control in 2009 and established them in the Premier League last season.
But it is understood Norwich refused an approach from Villa, with reports in the English press on Wednesday evening claiming Lambert had resigned from his post as a direct result. Lambert has been operating on a rolling contract at Carrow Road.
Villa only avoided relegation from the Premier League by two points and had significantly to reduce their wage bill after debts of more than £50 million for the year ending May 2011.
Villa owner Randy Lerner previously held talks with former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he opted to stay at Molde in Norway for family reasons - although he was not formally offered the Villa post.