Steven Gerrard wants Aston Villa manager’s job with official approach imminent

Steven Gerrard is understood to want the Aston Villa manager's job with the club also interested and planning to make an official approach to Rangers.

Villa sacked manager Dean Smith on Sunday after a run of five straight league defeats, which has left the club 16th in the Premier League after 11 matches.

The Telegraph now report that Rangers boss Gerrard is interested in replacing Smith and is Villa's first choice for the vacant managerial position.

The club have reportedly done background checks on Gerrard and his backroom staff and are preparing an official approach to the Scottish champions in order to begin discussions.

Gerrard's contract at Rangers runs through until the summer of 2024 and the new deal he signed in 2019 also includes a release clause of around £2million.

Villa are understood to have no qualms over paying this fee and are also said to be happy for Gerrard to bring his assistants Gary McAllister and Michael Beale with him from Ibrox.

McAllister has previous experience of working at Villa, having been a part of Gerard Houllier's coaching staff during the 2010/11 season.

As for Beale, he is one of the names shortlisted by Cardiff City to replace the recently dismissed Mick McCarthy.

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Former Liverpool midfielder Gerrard has been in charge at Rangers since 2018, having started his managerial career a year earlier at the helm of the Reds' under-18s side.

He guided the Gers to an unbeaten league season last term as they claimed their first Scottish title since 2011 and prevented their Old Firm rivals Celtic from winning 10 in a row.

Originally, Gerrard had not intended to leave the club mid-season, but it is understood that the opportunity to manage a club of Villa's size has caused him to reconsider.

If Villa are granted permission to speak to Gerrard, the club hope to appoint him within the next seven days, after chief executive Christian Purslow told players on Monday that a new manager would in charge by the following week.

Other candidates reportedly looked at by the Villa board include Southampton's Ralph Hassenhuttl, former Everton manager Roberto Martinez and Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand.

Hjulmand has already ruled himself out of the race, having guided the Danes to the semi-finals of the Euros in the summer and qualification for next year's World Cup.

If appointed, Gerrard's first match in charge after the international break would be the home clash with Brighton on November 20.

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