Aston Villa are ready to firm up their interest in signing Rangers defender James Tavernier, Football Insider can reveal.

The newly-promoted Premier League club are keen to recruit a proven right-back this summer and have shortlisted the Ibrox skipper.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club are keeping close tabs on Tavernier and are readying an approach after securing Premier League promotion.

The club know their chances of enticing the 27-year-old have been increased significantly as they are able to offer top-flight rather than Championship football.

Gerrard has admitted that Rangers are vulnerable to losing Tavernier to a Premier League outfit and revealed “there have been calls about Tav with clubs interested”.

Tavernier has been a mainstay of the Rangers line-up since signing from Wigan Athletic in 2015 and is a prodigious scorer from penalties, free-kicks and set-pieces.

Rangers

In the recently completed Scottish season, the Englishman scored 17 goals and provided 20 assists from 57 matches in all competitions and his record at Ibrox is very impressive.

Ahmed Elmohamady and Alan Hutton have shared right-back duties at Villa this season but the former is 31 and out of contract next year, while the latter is 34 and due to leave this summer.

Tavernier is contracted to Rangers until the summer of 2022.

In other Rangers news, it can be REVEALED that the club have scrapped plans to sign 23-year-old permanently due to the stunning emergence of an Ibrox man.