Steven Gerrard to Newcastle United? Rangers boss has the credentials but have the bookies got it right?

It is both a compliment to Steven Gerrard and recognition of his continuing status as one of the biggest names in world football that so many bookmakers have installed him as favourite to become the next permanent Newcastle United manager.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is being linked with Newcastle United after their takeover this week by new Saudi Arabian owners. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is being linked with Newcastle United after their takeover this week by new Saudi Arabian owners. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There is no doubt Gerrard carries the kind of high profile and personal credibility which will tick a lot of boxes for the new Saudi Arabian owners of what has suddenly become one of the richest clubs on the planet.

The Rangers manager has also proved in his first three years at Ibrox, backed by his tight-knit coaching staff, that he can handle the expectations of a passionate supporter base and the intensity of leading a club which demands success.

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That kind of success is what Newcastle United will regard as non-negotiable from now on as they assess who will occupy their technical area after what seems like the inevitable and imminent departure of Steve Bruce.

But while Gerrard’s candidacy for the role certainly has credibility, the initial noises emanating from the new ownership team at St James’ Park suggest their preference may be for a more established top flight manager.

Brendan Rodgers is understood to be high on their list of potential targets, the former Celtic boss possessing the experience and knowledge of Premier League management which could see him hit the ground running in the north east if he was prepared to leave Leicester City.

While securing a compensation package with the club of any manager currently in a job will not be an issue for Newcastle, they do have the more convenient option of appointing Antonio Conte who is currently taking time out after leaving Inter Milan at the end of last season.

The former Chelsea head coach, a Premier League winner during his two years at Stamford Bridge, is being strongly linked with Newcastle by well-informed Italian sources.

So while it wouldn’t be a complete shock if Gerrard was to leave Rangers for Newcastle, it would still be a surprise.

The 41-year-old is surely destined for a return to the Premier League one day. Despite the bookies’ odds, however, that day probably remains further down the line.

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