Dean Smith will sign a two-and-half-year contract to become Norwich City’s manager on Saturday evening.
Terms were agreed verbally earlier on Saturday and all the legal necessities have been passed.
Norwich are likely to confirm the deal in the next 24 hours, and the club’s bosses will stress that Smith was their first choice from the start of the process to identify Daniel Farke’s replacement.
Farke was dismissed after Norwich beat Brentford 2-1 in their final game before the international break – their first Premier League win of the season.
Despite that success, they are bottom of the table with five points from their first 11 games.
Smith was dismissed just a day after Farke – a Friday night defeat to Southampton was Villa’s fifth loss in a row and left them just two points above the drop zone.
Smith’s overall record at Villa was excellent, having led them to promotion from the Championship via the play-offs in his first season at the helm, before Premier League finishes of 17th and 11th – plus a League Cup final appearance.
Smith and former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard were understood to be the main contenders to take charge at Norwich, but the latter withdrew from the running as he does not feel the job is right for him at this stage of his career.
Sky Sports News has been told that, even before Lampard withdrew, Norwich’s bosses had been impressed by Smith’s ideas for the squad.
He will begin the task of trying to guide Villa to safety when they host Southampton – his final opponents as Villa boss – on November 20.
November 20: Norwich vs Southampton – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 27: Norwich vs Wolves – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 30: Newcastle vs Norwich – Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm
December 5: Tottenham vs Norwich – Premier League, kick-off 2pm
December 11: Norwich vs Man Utd – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
December 14: Norwich vs Aston Villa – Premier League, kick-off 7.45pm