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Steve Bruce to stay on as Aston Villa manager

Aston Villa's Steve Bruce. AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USEIAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images

Steve Bruce will return as Aston Villa manager for the 2018-19 season after reports Thierry Henry would take his place.

Sources told ESPN FC that former France and Arsenal great Henry had been lined up to replace Bruce as Villa boss. Henry, who worked as a coach for Belgium as they finished third at the World Cup, recently left his position working as a pundit for Sky so he could concentrate on a career in management.

However, Villa announced on Wednesday that the 57-year-old former Hull and Sunderland manager would keep his post at the club.

A club statement ahead of Villa's friendly with West Ham read: "Aston Villa can confirm manager Steve Bruce has met majority owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens and will continue as manager with their full support."

Bruce did not speak to media after the match, but Hammers winger Robert Snodgrass, who played for Bruce at Hull, hailed the decision.

"He was in line for the England job so how can anyone question him? He's a top man and a top manager. It's good news they've decided to keep him on," said Snodgrass.

"I loved the players, staff, city. The club deserves to be back in the Premier League and Steve Bruce has come under a lot of pressure recently.

"But you tell me a manager who loses his mum and dad and is back on the touchline as if nothing has happened.

"It shows his character. He is a top manager."