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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Gerrard favourite for vacant Villa job

ART GALLERY

Steven Gerrard led Rangers to their first title in 10 years last season

Aston Villa have yet to make a formal approach to Rangers for manager Steven Gerrard but he remains the favourite to succeed Dean Smith.

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.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is another who has figured in discussions along with the ex-England captain, 41.

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

Gerrard’s work in revitalising Rangers and regaining the Scottish title from Celtic after a decade has impressed Villa’s hierarchy and has led to his name being at the forefront of their thoughts, with progress on an appointment likely to gather pace over coming days.

He is admired by Villa chief executive Christian Purslow, who knows Gerrard well from his time as Liverpool managing director.

While he 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 likely to be tempting to the former Liverpool captain.

Rangers would be expected to fight hard to keep Gerrard should an official Villa approach arrive after he played a key part in overturning Celtic’s domestic supremacy.

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