Aston Villa have their eye on a potential manager change as they hoped they would be in the top six this season, Football Insider understands.
This site revealed on Thursday (8th April) that the ambitious Midlands giants have a “strong interest” in luring Steven Gerrard from Rangers.
A Villa source has provided further detail on the club’s ambitions and how far they are willing to go to challenge the Champions League elite.
The masterplan is to regularly push for a top-four spot in the coming seasons and the hope was that this season would further cement their status among the elite with a top-six finish and a place in Europe.
That now seems very unlikely following a mixed run that leaves Dean Smith’s side ninth in the table and seven points adrift of Liverpool in seventh.
Smith is well regarded by the majority of Villa supporters and his tenure, that included Championship promotion in his first season, is viewed as a success.
But Villa’s owners, as well as having deep pockets, are hugely ambitious.
Edens and Sawiris have pumped around £400million into Villa since buying the club in 2018, with more than £250m spent on transfers.
They believe that being an established Premier League club is the absolute minimum ambition.
Chief executive Christian Purslow effectively runs the club on behalf of the billionaire owners and he has a lot of power.
As the source puts it to Football Insider, “Dean isn’t big enough for him”.
Purslow has been eyeing covetous glance towards Glasgow, where Gerrard has ended Celtic’s nine-year domination and steered Rangers to the title in a remarkable unbeaten campaign.
Could he possibly lure the Liverpool icon from Ibrox, where he has messiah-like status among supporters?
Purslow knows the Rangers boss from his time at Liverpool, where he had a spell as managing director, between 2009 and 2011.
Intriguingly, he is said to have been the driving force for Gerrard being handed an extremely lurcrative four-year contract by the Merseysiders at the age of 29.
Whether Villa are successful in luring Gerrard at some point, be it in the summer or further down the line, Smith should watch his back.
It appears a poor run of results could be enough for the axe to fall.