Steven Gerrard targeting Rangers contract rebel with Leeds to challenge Villa for mercurial star

Glen Kamara celebrates scoring Rangers' second goal with Ryan Kent Europa League - Semi Final - Second Leg - Rangers v RB Leipzig - Ibrox

Winger Ryan Kent is a target for both Aston Villa and Leeds United next summer after reports he will leave Ibrox for nothing at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old is currently in his fifth season with the Glasgow giants, the first of which was a 12-month loan. The former England Under-20 ace has enjoyed 186 outings in all competitions for the Gers, scoring 30 goals. But he will fall out of contract in the summer of 2023 and is certain to have many suitors.

Leeds were linked during the summer transfer window. And it was not the first time they had tried to lure him to Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa was known to be a fan, with Kent a target for the Argentinian in the summer of 2019. However, then Rangers chief Gerrard issued a ‘hands off’ warning to the Yorkshire outfit.

Bielsa tried again 12 months later but the Scottish club refused to play ball for a second time. It seems as though current Leeds boss Jesse Marsch is also keen on the wide man.

The Sunday Mirror are reporting that the Whites will send a scout to watch him in Champions League action. Having lost their first two group games, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men face Liverpool on Tuesday night.

The Anfield clash will give Kent a chance to showcase his skills to a huge audience. But Leeds will not be the only interested observers on Merseyside.

Gerrard keen for Kent reunion

Aston Villa chief Gerrard took the reins at Ibrox in June 2018, with Kent arriving on loan a month later. The Oldham-born star was a regular starter under the former England midfielder.

And he showed the type of form that was inevitably going to attract attention from big clubs. But the ex-Liverpool skipper managed to keep hold of his star man.

And now it seems as though Gerrard would like him at Villa Park. Rangers are desperate to keep hold of the player and have held talks with him over the possibility of a contract extension.

But it seems as though he is determined to seek a new challenge for 2023-2024. Kent has received mostly favourable reviews for his Rangers stint.

However, there is a school of thought that he sometimes fails to hit the heights in the biggest games. It may be that a change of scene is required to help take his game to the next level.

Tuesday’s Anfield outing will be a huge test of his credentials. Games in England do not come much bigger than a trip to face Jurgen Klopp’s charges.

A decent display will further propel Kent into the spotlight and possibly add a few suitors to his list of admirers.

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