New Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is seemingly at peace with gutting former side Rangers after a report detailed plans to prise two key stars away from Ibrox.
The Liverpool legend made the bold decision to leave the Scottish champions for Aston Villa last week. Gerrard had helped guide Rangers to their first league title in a decade last season. Nonetheless, the lure of repeating that success and a campaign in the Europa League was cast aside in favour of managing in the Premier League.
Gerrard takes the reins with Villa struggling in 16th position. Clearly, the transition after selling Jack Grealish was more difficult than many had predicted, even with the signings of Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey.
Gerrard will be tasked with bringing the best out of those three attackers. But according to the Sun, he could complement his midfield ranks and forward line with further new signings in January.
Firstly, (citing the Daily Record), Villa’s interest in Glen Kamara is noted. The 26-year-old combative midfielder had been a key cog in Gerrard’s engine room at Ibrox.
Kamara had previously indicated his desire to test himself in England after failing to make the grade with Arsenal between 2012-17.
The Finland international only signed a new deal with Rangers in September. As such, Gerrard and Aston Villa will likely have to pay Kamara’s full market value to seal a deal. The Birmingham Mail also highlighted a Kamara deal as a distinct possibility on Friday.
The second player on Villa’s radar (via the Daily Mail) is Ryan Kent. The former Liverpool winger took giant strides forward under Gerrard’s tutelage in Glasgow.
The 25-year-old even drew persistent links with Leeds United after upping his goals tally in three consecutive seasons at Rangers.
He would provide Gerrard with versatility in his attacking ranks being capable of playing both wide and centrally.
Rangers signed Kent for £7.5m back in 2019. Given his upward trajectory, he would likely command a far greater fee at present.
Liverpool will certainly be hoping Gerrard sanctions a deal on Kent’s front. The Sun notes the Reds reportedly have a 20 percent sell-on clause inserted in Kent’s contract.
“Rangers would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket”
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has received strong criticism from pundits and fans in Scotland after swapping Rangers for Aston Villa, and former Celtic man John Hartson is the latest to have his say.
Former Arsenal and Celtic striker Hartson is one prominent figure who has lambasted Gerrard’s move south of the border.
“People have talked about Steven Gerrard going into Aston Villa and having pressure. There’s no more pressure than trying to win another title with Rangers,” said Hartson, reported the Daily Record.
“You have people down south saying he’s won the last two titles [Gerrard won one league title with Rangers], they don’t have a clue or do their homework on Scottish football.
“They’re saying Aston Villa is a bigger club than Rangers. Rangers would fit Aston Villa in their back pocket.
“No disrespect. Aston Villa have won a European Cup but Rangers and Celtic are massive clubs. I don’t go anywhere in the world without bumping into a Celtic fan. Nowhere. And Rangers are the same.”