Off the McLeish

Alex McLeish is the latest name to be linked with the vacant Aston Villa job, with speculation mounting feverishly that the Scot may cross the city to manage the Blues' bitter rivals.

But, judging by Villa's attitude to the manner of Mark Hughes' resignation from Fulham, they should be no more impressed by McLeish's exit, which came in email form to Birmingham's acting chairman Peter Pannu.

'Birmingham City Football Club can confirm that Alex McLeish has resigned as manager,' read a statement on the club's website. 'Acting chairman Peter Pannu received an email resignation from McLeish earlier today while away on business in Amsterdam. No further comment will be made at this moment in time and updates will be released in due course.'

McLeish had pledged his future to Birmingham following the club's relegation on the last day of the season in which the Scot led the club to Carling Cup glory, though it was well known that the relationship between manager and the acting club chairman was fractious.

But the appointment of McLeish may represent a pyrrhic victory for Villa, who have missed out on all their first choice targets after Roberto Martinez decided to stay at Wigan, and Rafa Benitez decided he didn't want the job.

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