Thierry Henry is in pole position to become Aston Villa’s new manager but Brendan Rodgers remains under serious consideration.
Former Arsenal star Henry has impressed the Villa hierarchy at interview, Press Association Sport understands.
But the club’s recruitment process has not finished yet and owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris are big fans of Celtic boss Rodgers.
No approach has been made to the Scottish champions yet and it remains to be seen if Rodgers would be prepared to walk away from Celtic Park mid-season.
Celtic’s Europa League game against Salzburg also delayed any possible move for the former Liverpool chief.
John Terry is also primed for a coaching role at the club and could return to Villa Park regardless of whether Henry gets the top job or not.
Terry captained Villa last season after joining on a free from Chelsea but left in the summer following their failure to earn promotion.
New chief executive Christian Purslow promised an extensive recruitment process after Bruce’s sacking on Wednesday and it is now expected to be concluded by the end of the week.
Henry was heavily linked to the role after Edens and Sawiris took charge in July but they opted to stick with Bruce, who was upset with how heavily the Frenchman was being touted for his job.
But after growing fan discontent – which included one supporter throwing a cabbage at Bruce before Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Preston – Villa ended the 57-year-old’s two-year reign.
Bruce took Villa to the play-off final last season before a 1-0 defeat to Fulham.
Henry has been looking for his first managerial role and reportedly turned down Bordeaux in August.
He quit his role as a Sky Sports pundit to focus on becoming a manager and was Roberto Martinez’s assistant with Belgium as they finished third at the World Cup in the summer.
Rodgers has been at Celtic since May 2016 and has won back-to-back domestic trebles.
Caretaker Villa manager Kevin MacDonald oversaw a 2-1 defeat at Millwall on Saturday which left Villa 15th in the Sky Bet Championship.