John Hartson backtracks on Steven Gerrard claims as reports linking Rangers boss to Aston Villa intensify

John Hartson has backtracked on his claims that Steven Gerrard would turn down the Aston Villa job and remain at Rangers until the end of the season.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is favourite to take over at Aston Villa. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is favourite to take over at Aston Villa. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Intense speculation has continued linking the Ibrox boss with the vacancy at Villa Park, where former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow is chief executive.

Gerrard is odds-on favourite with bookmakers to replace Dean Smith who was sacked on Sunday, with some also opening betting markets on the next manager at Ibrox.

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Speaking on Go Radio on Tuesday night, Hartson intimated that such moves were premature, boldly predicting: “Steven Gerrard is going nowhere”.

However, the former Celtic striker has changed his tune and admitted it now looks likely the former Anfield midfielder will depart Ibrox.

“I did a radio show in Glasgow last night and I said I didn't think he would go,” Hartson explained.

“I thought he was in the middle of a job not finished at Rangers. They won the league at a canter last year and they started the season very well, they're top of the league and in the semi-final of a cup.

“I felt he would see things through and would want to win a second title.

“But obviously it looks like Aston Villa will try and prise him away. It's going to be a decision for Steven.

"Yesterday I said I thought he would stay but things have moved on. I'm not a gambler but I know quite a lot about odds, and the bookies are not usually too far away."

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