Aston Villa step up pursuit of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa step up pursuit of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa are stepping up moves to appoint Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and significant developments are expected in the next 48 hours.

Villa are using the international break to consider their next move but expect to have a manager in place for the home game against Brighton on 20 November.

It looks increasingly likely former Liverpool and England captain Gerrard, 41, will be in charge for that game.

Dean Smith was sacked on Sunday after a run of five successive league defeats.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez also figured in the Villa hierarchy’s discussions but Gerrard has always been the favourite and efforts to finalise an appointment will intensify before the weekend.

Gerrard’s work in revitalising Rangers and recapturing the Scottish title in 2021 from Celtic – who had won it for each of the previous nine seasons – has impressed Villa’s hierarchy and put his name at the forefront of list of targets.

He is admired and respected by Villa chief executive Christian Purslow, who knows him well from his time at Liverpool.

While Gerrard has long been seen as future manager at Anfield, the lure of a move back to the Premier League with a stable, ambitious club is a tempting one.

If the former midfielder does accept the challenge at Villa Park, it will be a bitter blow to Rangers, who placed their faith in Gerrard by handing him his first major managerial post in 2018.

 
 
BBC/Emmanuel Ukoh
Aston Villa step up pursuit of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

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