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Remi Garde the early favorite to take over at Aston Villa

Real Madrid CF v Olympique Lyonnais - UEFA Champions League

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 18: Olympique Lyonnais head coach Remi Garde looks on before the start of the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Real Madrid CF and Olympique Lyonnais at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 18, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

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With Tim Sherwood out at Aston Villa, the search for a new manager is well underway.

Early speculation has tabbed Remi Garde as the favorite to take over, with reports that the club has already been in talks with the Frenchman to succeed Sherwood.

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Garde, 49, played in France for Lyon and Strasbourg before moving to Arsenal, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup titles with the Gunners during the 1997-98 season.

After retiring in 1999, Garde returned to Lyon where he worked as an assistant before being named manager of French side in 2011. He led the club to a French Cup title in his first year in charge, but stepped down last summer for personal reasons.

Despite having no experience managing in the Premier League, Garde played in England and would be familiar with many of the players in the squad. This summer, Jordan Amavi, Jordan Ayew, Jordan Veretout and Idrissa Gueye all moved to Villa Park from Ligue 1 sides.

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While it looks as if Garde is the clear favorite for the job, there could be some issues in bringing him to the West Midlands. It is believed that Garde is keen to bring his assistants from Lyon with him, although they are still under contract with the French club, who are reportedly blocking Villa from having any contact with the coaches.

Assistant Kevin MacDonald will act as caretaker manager for Villa’s midweek League Cup match against Southampton, with their next Premier League match next Monday at Tottenham.