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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 8 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Dec 24, 2007

O'Leary keen for return to top-flight management

Former Aston Villa and Leeds boss David O'Leary is hoping to return to top-level management.

The Irishman has been out of the game since leaving Villa Park in July 2006.

The 49-year-old has been linked with other posts since, particularly the Republic of Ireland job, but he does not want to rush into a decision.

O'Leary told Sky Sports News: 'It's got to be the right one. If the right one comes, you'll see David O'Leary back pretty quickly.'

O'Leary's time at Villa came to an end after a storm over transfer funding at the club.

A letter to former chairman Doug Ellis, purportedly written by some of the players, had called for more money to be spent on squad strengthening.

O'Leary admits money had been a problem during the Ellis era - which ended soon after O'Leary's departure when the chairman sold the club to Randy Lerner.

The former Leeds boss pinpoints the example of goalkeeper Scott Carson, who is currently on loan at Villa from Liverpool and could be signed permanently by present manager Martin O'Neill.

'We wanted to bring Scott Carson there,' O'Leary said. 'We knew him from Leeds and we could have got him there for about £700,000, £750,000.

'I'm interested to see if Martin does get him, what that will cost Aston Villa compared to what we could have got him for.'

O'Leary believes he has learned much from his past experiences in management, particularly at Leeds in the early part of the decade.

O'Leary was in charge during a remarkable spell for the club, which included a Champions League semi-final appearance, before their infamous fall from grace.

'I think I had too much to say over an 18-month period at Leeds, at the back end,' O'Leary admitted. 'Lots of it to do with the limelight from the trial and it was a tough club to manage.

'But they were a great bunch of players to manage and through that period we sustained our success, still getting into Europe every year - a great achievement on behalf of the players.'