Rangers on Steven Gerrard alert as new managerial vacancy emerges in EPL

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is expected to be one of the contenders for the vacant Aston Villa manager’s post after Dean Smith was dismissed by the English Premier League club.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.

The Villains parted company with Smith on Sunday lunchtime after five straight defeats, the latest being on Friday night away at Southampton.

Gerrard was recently linked with the Newcastle job due to his success at Rangers, and the defending cinch Premiership champions will no doubt be monitoring developments in Birmingham. Gerrard is regarded as one of Britain’s most up-and-coming managers, although the early favourite to replace Smith is former Roma manager Paulo Fonseca.

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A statement from Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow read: “When Dean joined us in October 2018 our team was really struggling in The Championship. He immediately transformed the atmosphere and performances and achieved the ultimate success of leading Villa back to the Premier League within the same season - a rare feat.“He then secured our place in the Premier League after a tough campaign and took us to a Cup Final at Wembley.“However, after a good start to last season, this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for. For this reason we have decided to make a change now to allow time for a new head coach to make an impact.“The Board would like to sincerely thank Dean for his many excellent achievements, on and off the pitch, during this time. Everyone knows how much Aston Villa means to Dean and his family. He has represented the Club with distinction and dignity - universally liked and respected by everybody associated with Aston Villa – our staff, players and supporters alike. We wish him the very best.”

Norwich City and Newcastle United are also on the lookout for a new managers, although Eddie Howe – formerly a target of Celtic – is expected to take over the reins on Tyneside.