By Noel Whelan

16th Nov, 2021 | 5:30pm

Aston Villa 'smell blood' as they join rival clubs in exploiting Rangers 'financial troubles' after Kent update - pundit

Steven Gerrard will want to surround himself with “allies” in the Aston Villa dressing room as he lines up moves for Rangers stars Ryan Kent and Glen Kamara, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted he is “not surprised” the 41-year-old boss has his sights set on the “game-changing” duo.

Gerrard was announced as the new Aston Villa manager on November 10th after spending more than three years at the Glasgow giants.

A source with knowledge of Kent’s situation has told Football Insider that Villa and Leeds are among the clubs who have been keeping tabs on him.

Additionally, the Daily Record claimed on November 12th that 26-year-old midfielder Kamara is also being eyed by the former Gers boss.

Whelan insisted any potential Villa raid would “help Rangers financially”, after the Ibrox club recorded losses of £23.5million last year.

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“I think Gerrard will want to surround himself with players who have been there for him and worked hard for him – even gone into the trenches for him,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“That’s when you find out about a player’s character, and he will want those types of players as allies in the dressing room.

“It doesn’t surprise me that the names of Kamara and Kent have come up – they’re the two who sprung to mind. They can control a game, change a game, and most importantly win a game.

“Other clubs will be interested, and they will smell blood now Gerrard has left. But he will have that capital available to him at Villa in order to delve into the market and help Rangers financially – they’re in trouble financially – but help himself by bolstering the squad at the same time.”

Kamara recently signed a new deal at Rangers which could see them receive a healthy transfer fee for his services.

Kent has just a year-and-a-half left on his contract at Ibrox.

In other news, pundit shares ‘big’ Aston Villa training ground reveal after ‘speaking to Gerrard’.