'I would just say no!': Steve McManaman warning to Rangers boss Steven Gerrard over Aston Villa link

Steve McManaman has added his voice to those cautioning Steven Gerrard over switching Rangers for Aston Villa.

Steve McManaman, former Liverpool and Manchester City player, has branded Aston Villa's sacking of Dean Smith 'diabolical'. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images,)

The Scottish champions’ manager is understood to be high in the thoughts of Aston Villa to replace Dean Smith who was sacked as manager on Sunday after five consecutive defeats.

Bookmakers have the former Liverpool captain odds-on favourite to make the move and managing director Christian Purlow, who worked with Gerrard during his playing days at Anfield, is reportedly ready to make a formal approach to Rangers to speak to the boss about the job.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

However the potential opportunity has split opinion and former England and Liverpool midfielder McManaman has joined Merseyside team-mate Danny Murphy and Rangers legend Ally McCoist in cautioning against a move.

Steven Gerrard is substituted by Steve McManaman of Liverpool during an international friendly in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

"If it was Steven going to that club I would just say ‘No!’, McManaman said. “The way that they’ve treated their manager, does that mean if Steven loses five on the bounce is he going to get canned as well? And it’s just accepted?! Absolutely not.

“The main thing is to be happy, to have a relationship with your owner, trust each other – and trust each other when things are going a little bit south rather than when everything is going great.”

Gerrard previously dismissed “silly questions” linking him with Newcastle, insisting he was settled at Ibrox but links to another English top-flight job have re-surfaced for the manager who is widely thought to have the long-term ambition of taking over at Liverpool.

Simon Jordan believes a move is needed between Ibrox and his long-term goal on Merseyside but Ally McCoist has warned taking the job could risk that future ambition, and McManaman urged caution following Smith’s ‘diabolical’ dismissal.

He told horseracing.net: “The way Aston Villa have treated Dean Smith is absolutely atrocious. They were 15th in the Championship. He’s taken them to where they are now and they’ve lost their best player in Jack Grealish. Yes they’ve had a couple of bad results, five on the bounce and they’ve just cast him aside. The way he’s been treated is diabolical.

"It’s just considered ‘the norm’ and ‘acceptable’. He’s not been given the chance to get himself out of it. You win 20 on the bounce - it’s great. Lose five on the bounce - you lose your job. It’s just awful.”

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today