Alan Thompson could link up with former Norwich City boss Paul Lambert at Aston Villa

Former Aston Villa midfielder Alan Thompson could become Paul Lambert's first Villa Park signing after his surprise dismissal as Celtic's first team coach.

Lambert has been widely tipped to return to Carrow Road for long time lieutenants, assistant boss Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa, who both remain contracted to the Canaries.

Thompson has also been linked with a role in Lambert's new backroom team after the Bhoys yesterday confirmed his Parkhead exit following a telephone call with Hoops' boss Neil Lennon.

Neither party has disclosed the full reasons behind Thompson's departure, but the Geordie has placed the matter in the hands of his lawyers.

'I can confirm that I have been instructed to act on behalf of Alan Thompson following his dismissal by Celtic,' said Margaret Gibbon, of Glasgow-based Bridge Litigation. 'Alan was informed of the decision to terminate his employment with immediate effect in a telephone conversation with the club manager Neil Lennon.'

Lambert himself will be officially unveiled by Villa tomorrow with Norwich still in discussions over potential compensation for their old manager.

Thompson was dismissed by Lennon over the telephone after he refused to meet with the Celtic manager, according to the Parkhead club. The Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions confirmed the Englishman's departure from the club on their website in a statement which claimed Thompson, 38, failed to attend a pre-arranged meeting with the Parkhead boss in Newcastle.

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'We can also confirm that a meeting was set up between Alan Thompson and Neil Lennon on Sunday (June 3) in Newcastle,' it read. 'However, Alan refused to meet with Neil, hence the reason for the discussion being conducted by telephone. The matter is now in the hands of lawyers and, therefore, we are unable to go into any further details.'