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Copa del Rey

Maradona interested in vacant Villa post?

Diego Maradona has set his sights on a sensational switch to Aston Villa in the wake of Martin O'Neill's departure.

Maradona left his post as Argentina coach after the World Cup and his European representative Walter Soriano claims the 49-year-old is now targeting a job in England.

Argentina were thrashed by Germany in the quarter final of the tournament, which led to the termination of Maradona's contract, but he could be set for a swift return to management.

Maradona's reputation in England will be forever tarnished by his 'Hand of God' goal against the Three Lions at the 1986 World Cup, but Soriano insists his client would be open to an approach from Villa owner Randy Lerner.

He told the Sunday Mercury: "I think Diego would be very open to the idea of coming to England and managing Aston Villa. He is very attracted to English football and the way of life in your country and I know he would be very willing to move there.

"He loves the English countryside and your 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.''

Lerner is seeking a new permanent manager at Villa Park after Martin O'Neill quit just days before the start of the new Premier League season. Kevin MacDonald was in caretaker charge as Villa began the new campaign with a convincing 3-0 win against West Ham on Saturday.


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