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May 23, 2011

Villa wait on Houllier medical tests

Gerard Houllier's future at Aston Villa may hinge on the outcome of medical tests as the manager recuperates from a recent heart problem, according to Press Association Sport.

Houllier was truck down by heart troubles in April and sources close to the club have indicated the outcome of the tests will be "the driving force'' behind what is the next step to take. But there have been conflicting weekend reports over Houllier's future.

One report suggested the 63-year-old would be relieved of his duties and another indicated his return would be rubber-stamped by club owner Randy Lerner. But the source insisted it is "neither of those'' and that the medical tests, the results of which should be known early next week, will be the key.

Caretaker boss Gary McAllister continues to be in an upbeat mood over Houllier's future.

He said: "Gerard is very good. He is in fine form. We are seeing more and more of him. He is up and about. We have had lunch, we've been for dinner. He's not driving or anything like that. He's obviously got a driver.

"But every indication, and all the things he is saying to me and other members of staff, is that he wants to be back here and he wants to be back in full-time work.

"He is just preparing for July 7 when we come back for pre-season training.''

Meanwhile, a Premier League managers' arbitration tribunal is continuing this week to consider the circumstances that led to Martin O'Neill's abrupt departure from Villa.

O'Neill enjoyed a successful four-year association with the club after taking over from David O'Leary in August 2006.

He led them to three successive top-six finishes in the Premier League and the 2010 Carling Cup final.

But the former Leicester and Celtic boss opted to leave just five days before the start of the campaign in August.

A League Managers' Association mediation panel failed to resolve the dispute between O'Neill and Villa at the tail-end of 2010.

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