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USA's Bradley in line to become chief Villan

America’s World Cup coach tipped to take over after O’Neill’s shock departure.

Bob Bradley led the US national team to the top of their World Cup group.
Image: Luca Bruno/AP

USA coach Bob Bradley has been hotly tipped to take the reins at Aston Villa in the wake of the surprise departure of Martin O’Neill from the club yesterday afternoon.

The 52-year-old, who coached the Americans in the World Cup and led them to the top of their group which included England, yesterday said he would like to coach in Europe – directly in response to a question on the Villa job.

“I have said over and over as well that I am always excited about new and different challenges,” said Bradley.

Bradley was linked to the vacancy at Fulham before Mark Hughes was appointed to that job, and confirmed that his representatives had spoken to the club on his behalf while the job was still up for grabs.

He has since been installed as the bookies’ favourite to take the job, ahead of Sven-Goran Eriksson and Alan Curbishley. Bradley has, however, also been linked to the Honduras national side, and to a number of MLS vacancies.

Bradley said he was putting any thought of the Villa job out of his mind for the moment, however, with his US side taking on Brazil in a friendly tonight. He will discuss his future role with the national side with US Soccer after the match.

“From the end of the World Cup, I have said the same thing: There would be a period when both sides would assess. I think that’s normal,” Bradley said.

“I had a few discussions with US Soccer. This fixture date comes at a tricky time and so we agreed it was most important to get on and prepare for this date and then we would have some discussions following this game. That’s where it stands.”

It is still unknown as to why O’Neill vacated the job having shepherded the club through its entire pre-season schedule, though it is understood the Irishman had fallen out with the club’s owner, Randy Lerner, over the proposed sale of midfielder James Milner.

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Gavan Reilly

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