Aston Villa will make an official approach to Rangers for boss Steven Gerrard on Wednesday with club officials confident they can agree a deal, claim reports.
Gerrard, who has been at the helm at Ibrox for three-and-a-half-years, has indicated that he is “interested” in the role at Villa Park. Villa officials are understood to have made background checks on Gerrard and have sounded out his representatives. And the Telegraph report that Villa are poised to enter into talks with the 41-year-old, as long as Rangers grant them position.
The Guardian suggest that approach will come in the next 48 hours, but the Daily Record report that contact will come on Wednesday.
Gerrard is under contract until 2024 at Ibrox. The the new deal he signed in December 2019, is understood to include a £2m-plus break clause. That compensation figure will not put off Villa’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
The ambitious pair are looking for an improvement on Villa’s 11th-placed finish last season. Villa’s run of five straight defeats was enough for them to axe Dean Smith on Sunday after three years at the helm.
Sawaris and Edens are hoping to make a quick deal for Gerrard, who recently distanced himself from the Newcastle job.
The Scottish outlet suggest that chief executive Christian Purslow, who spent five years at Liverpool as managing director, is confident Villa can get a deal done for Gerrard.
Purslow of course knows Gerrard from the pair’s time at Anfield and he is hoping to “move quickly”.
Rangers though have a run of important games on the horizon. And they will not want to be left without a manager for too long.
They face Hibs in a Scottish League Cup semi-final after the international break and have a crucial Europa League date with Sparta Prague soon after.
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Gerrard previously has spoken of securing back-to-back Premiership titles. He has also previously insisted he is happy in Scotland.
But Villa’s interest has turned the head of the former Liverpool skipper. The Telegraph insist the feeling is mutual and the deal could move quickly on Wednesday.
Hjulmand steps away from Villa talk
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez is also on Villa’s short-list should a move for Gerrard fail.
Meanwhile, Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand, 49, has ruled himself out of contention.
Hjulmand said: “I’m happy to be the Danish national coach, and I’m not going anywhere right now. I think I have only just started. I am in the process of finding out what this team can do.
“And I love the job. For me, it is a big challenge to see how far we can go. How well we can get to play because we have a very exciting team with great potential.”