England squad for Albania and San Marino World Cup qualifiers
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Rangers are prepared to let Steven Gerrard join Aston Villa and have already set their sights on Swansea City boss Russell Martin to replace the Liverpool icon, according to reports. Gerrard is believed to be in London to finalise talks over a deal with Villa, who gave former boss Dean Smith his marching orders last week.
Smith was dismissed on Sunday after a run of five straight Premier League defeats, leaving Villa occupying 16th place in the table.
Gerrard was quickly identified as the club’s preferred choice to assume the role and is now firmly poised to swap Ibrox for Villa Park over the next few days.
The Liverpool icon has enjoyed a strong start to his managerial career, leading Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership title in over a decade last season.
However, he looks to be on his way out of Glasgow over the coming days, with his arrival at Villa expected to be confirmed within the next 48 hours.
Rangers have reportedly accepted the move and have already switched their focus to sourcing Gerrard’s successor, with the Scottish giants fully expecting their current boss to sign with Villa, according to The Mirror.
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The report claims that Swansea head coach Martin, who played for Rangers on loan from Norwich City back in 2018, has emerged as their priority target.
Club chiefs have reached out to Swansea in order to register their interest in the former Scotland defender and will reportedly look to complete a move for his signature over the coming days.
Martin previously enjoyed a fruitful spell in the dugout at MK Dons, who turned plenty of heads with their attractive style of play during his time with the League One outfit.
Rangers are said to be keen on recruiting another young manager following their successes under Gerrard’s guidance and Martin appears to have been earmarked as the right man for the job.
However, they could be forced to shell out a hefty severance package in order to land the Swansea boss, who is under contract until the summer of 2024.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Gerrard will be successful at Villa as he takes the bold step into Premier League management for the first time in his career.
Former Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has tipped the Liverpool legend to hit the ground running in his new role, insisting that his players will be desperate to win over the approval of such an established figure.
“When I watch Rangers, they look organised,” Agbonlahor told talkSPORT earlier this week.
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“You see Gerrard’s passion on the side. I’m excited for these Villa players if he comes. When he steps in the building, he’s got their respect already.
“The players will be starstruck. They’ll say: ‘You know what? I have to work for this manager’.
“You look at Leon Bailey not tracking back against Southampton, he’ll be doing that straight away. Gerrard is no-nonsense, as a player and a manager.”
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