Rangers

Billionaire-owned Aston Villa are keen on Rangers manager Steven Gerrard ahead of the summer, Football Insider understands.

The ninth-placed Premier League club have had a fine campaign after narrowly avoiding relegation on their top-flight return last term.

But a Villa source has told Football Insider that Dean Smith’s position as manager is far from secure in the medium and long-term.

Chief executive Christian Purslow is said to have a “strong interest” in luring Gerrard on behalf of owners Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris.

Purslow knows the Rangers boss from his time at Liverpool, where he had a spell as managing director, between 2009 and 2011.

Tellingly, Edens and Sawiris are hugely ambitious and have pumped around £400million into Villa since buying the club in 2018, with more than £250m spent on transfers.

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Egyptian tycoon Sawiris is estimated by Forbes to be worth $8.4bn (£6.1bn), while American financier Edens is in a similar bracket.

Gerrard’s reputation as one of the brightest young managers in the game has been established during his three years at Rangers.

He has transformed the team’s fortunes and lifted the first silverware of his managerial career when he steered the club to this season’s title and ended Celtic’s 10-in-a-row hopes.

It remains to be seen whether he would have any interest in a move south of the border.

Gerrard and all of his backroom staff signed new five-year contracts in December 2019 that run until 2024.

The Liverpool icon also snubbed offers from English Championship duo Bristol City and Birmingham City last summer.

In other news, Kieran Maguire blown away by Rangers as they strike agreement on another “big” commercial deal.