Steven Gerrard has been shortlisted by Aston Villa as a potential replacement for Dean Smith who was axed at the weekend following the club’s fifth successive Premier League defeat on Friday night.
Rangers are facing an anxious wait to discover if Villa chief executive and former Liverpool FC managing director Christian Purslow will make a formal approach for Gerrard. Purslow and Gerrard know each other well from their time at Anfield and the duo are said to have a good relationship.
Gerrard is on a shortlist which includes Roberto Martinez, Kasper Hjulmand, Ralph Hasenhuttl and Graham Potter.
When linked with Newcastle recently, Gerrard was adamant that he was happy at Ibrox and not looking for a challenge elsewhere so tempting him to Villa Park could prove extremely difficult.
Meanwhile, Danny Murphy believes his former Liverpool teammate won’t take the job if approached.
“I would be very surprised, very surprised if he was to leave Rangers to join Villa,” said Murphy. “Not because Villa isn’t a great club but there’s only so far that you can take them. The ceiling is low.
“It doesn’t matter what Aston Villa’s owners think. Thought and reality are two different things.
“I’m talking from Gerrard’s position and if you’re asking me about his mentality, I would suggest that he wants to be at the top of the tree in management in terms of competing for leagues and Champions Leagues and winning European trophies. At Rangers, he’s trying to win titles and win the Europa League.
“I think, as I’ve said before, his ultimate ambition is to manage Liverpool and is there another stepping stone between Rangers and Liverpool?
“I’m not so sure there is.”
Close pal Jamie Carragher has also chimed in by saying that it would be a good switch for Gerrard, but added that the vacancy has probably come at the wrong time.
Carra said: “I think Aston Villa as a club would be a great move for Steven Gerrard.
“But the situation he finds himself in right now is that he took the title away from Celtic last season, and he’s in a great position to win it again.
“I think, in a perfect world, you’d want to stay at Rangers to the end of the season and come away from there with two titles.
“I mean, this is not something coming from Steven Gerrard, but I think sooner or later, there’s going to be a great chance Steven Gerrard is going to come to the Premier League.
“But for me, it’s a difficult one.
“If he got offered the Aston Villa job, I don’t think there would be many jobs in the Premier League which he would get offered [that are] better than that.
“People talk about Liverpool, and that might be another two or three years with Jurgen Klopp but you’re not going to get any jobs better, so it would be a decision for him.
“But, in a perfect world, I think Steven Gerrard wants to come away from Rangers with another couple of trophies.
Gerrard will no doubt manage the Reds one day but if Jürgen Klopp leaves Anfield in 2024, some feel that may be too soon for the former Liverpool skipper to take control. Assistant manager Pep Lijnders is being looked at as a possible successor to Klopp but anything could change over the next couple of years.