Gerrard high on Villa manager shortlist

Steven Gerrard, who took charge in June 2018, led Rangers to their first title in 10 years last season

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard remains high on Aston Villa’s list of potential targets to replace Dean Smith – but other contenders are under discussion.

Villa’s hierarchy are impressed by Gerrard’s work in revitalising Rangers in what is his first managerial job.

He has long been seen as a future Liverpool boss, but Villa may be ready to try to tempt him to Villa Park.

The 41-year-old is also well known to Villa chief executive and ex-Reds managing director Christian Purslow.

Gerrard, however, is not the only name being considered and Villa are determined to conduct a proper recruitment process during the international break to identify their new manager, with the hope of having him in charge for their next game at home to Brighton on 20 November.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez and his Denmark counterpart Kasper Hjulmand, who led his country to the Euro 2020 semi-finals, are also of interest to the Villa board.

Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl is another admired by Villa but has strong loyalty to Southampton, while Brighton’s Graham Potter would be another prime contender for any vacant post, but it is highly doubted he would currently be tempted away from the Amex Stadium.

‘Gerrard may have come to end of Rangers shelf life’

Former Blackburn, Chelsea and Celtic striker Chris Sutton on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club

“Eventually Gerrard will come down south and of course the talk is he is going to end up at Liverpool. I don’t want to call Aston Villa a stepping stone – they are an enormous club – but he needs to maybe learn his trade at a club like Villa, not at a club who are going to compete at the very top of the table.

“I think it will suit him – Gary McAllister, his assistant, spent time there with Gerard Houllier, so there’s a link there.

“In truth you manage Rangers, you manage Celtic, it has a shelf life and I just wonder if Gerrard has come to the end of his shelf life. If he’s offered the job I’m pretty sure he’ll take it.”

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