Steven Gerrard is the top target for Championship side Bristol City’s vacant manager post, as billionaire owner Steve Lansdown looks to mount a Premier League challenge next season.
The Robins are looking for a new boss after sacking Lee Johnson last weekend following a miserable run of nine games without a win.
The Express report that Lansdown has drawn up a lengthy shortlist of potential replacements including Gerrard, former Brighton boss Chris Hughton, Charlton’s Lee Bowyer and Plymouth Argyle’s Ryan Lowe.
However Gerrard is said to be the preferred option as the south-west club look to get back to the form that saw them firmly in the playoff positions until the turn of the year.
Johnson, son of club legend Gary Johnson, took charge of his final game in a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff last Saturday and you’d have to go back to early February for the last time they won under his management.
Gerrard has been in charge at Ibrox since 2018 and has only recently signed a new deal keeping him in Glasgow until 2024; so prising him away may be a long shot at the present time.
Although trophyless in Scotland thus far, the former Liverpool midfielder has guided Rangers to a second-placed finish in the Scottish Premiership in consecutive seasons and has laid the groundwork for a renewed rivalry with title winners Celtic. The Gers are also still in this season’s Europa League, although they trail 3-1 after the first leg of their round of 16 tie with Bayer Leverkusen; the return leg of which will be played in early August.
City have turned their rotten league form around since Johnson’s departure, winning back-to-back games – the latest a 3-1 victory at Middlesbrough on Saturday, in which former Burnley and QPR forward Nahki Wells returned to the scoresheet with a brace to take his tally to 18 for the season.
Speaking on the departure of Johnson last week, club chief executive Mark Ashton was quick to praise the departing manager for his efforts after the 39-year-old saved them from relegation in 2016; and narrowly missed out on the Championship playoffs last season in a final day tussle.
“There have been some special moments over those years and Lee has played a significant part in them.” said Ashton. “However, success in football is ultimately judged by results and league position and the board believes that a change of management is needed now for Bristol City.”