Sky Sports understands that Aston Villa have contacted Rafael Benitez about becoming their next manager.
Sources say the club have made preliminary contact with the former Liverpool boss to replace Gerard Houllier in the Villa Park hotseat.
It is our understanding that Villa have sounded out the Spaniard's availability and he has given the club the budget he wants for players.
A flood of bets on Wednesday has seen Benitez come into favouritism for the job.
Benitez has been out of work since leaving Inter Milan in December, after lasting just six months at the San Siro.