1. Rafa Benitez -I can not understand why they didn't hire him. He decided not to take the job after requesting a 30M pound transfer kitty, which was turned down by the owner. So a multiple champions league winner was passed over because he asked for 30M? Didn't Villa let Houllier spend 24M on Darren Bent? Last season Villa spent most of the season battling relegation to get into Europe this club is going to half to spend money. Especially since they are getting a rumoured 16M for the sale of Ashley Young to Manchester United. I think that Villa made a mistake by not hiring Rafa.
2. Steve McLaren - The former England, Boro, Twente, Wolfsburg boss was supposed to have an interview, but had it cancelled because of comments from fans. I think that Randy Lerner was right in cancelling the interview. It is important for the boss to get off on the right foot with fans, just ask Roy Hodgson. Also while he impressed at Boro & Twente he was a failure at England & Wolfsburg.
3. Mark Hughes - Hughes was strongly linked with the post, as he left his role at Fulham. Villa have said that they are not interested in Hughes. That said they can't talk to Hughes until the end of June. I don't think that Hughes is the right fit at Villa. He like Steve Bruce has switched clubs numerous times, just he has done it with less winning.
4. Carlo Ancelotti - The former Chelsea boss who has said that he would like to stay in England, has also said that he is planning to take a year off. Which if he means it would rule himself out of the Villa job.
So after passing on Rafa and being turned down by Martinez, who should Villa be interviewing next?
1. Louis van Gaal - I am surprised that the former Ajax, AZ, Barcelona, Bayern, & Netherlands coach has not been interviewed already I think that he would be a good fit at Villa and has been successful nearly everywhere he has gone.
2. Claudio Ranieri - His name was linked to vacancy, but that was the last I have heard of it. Like van Gaal I think that Ranieri would be a great fit at Villa park.
Both of these men are the sort of managers that would succeed at Villa and help them get where they want to go. I think that they should be the top two names on the short list now, and should have been right behind Rafa & Ancelotti in the first place.