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Rangers boss Steven Gerrard set for transfer scrap as Aston Villa and Leeds consider deal | Football | Sport

Rangers manager Gerrard is desperate to mount a realistic title challenge in the Premiership next season as Celtic target a ninth-consecutive league title.

Despite failing to win a trophy in his first year in Glasgow, Gers supporters were more than happy with the progress made under the 39-year-old during his opening 12 months.

One player that was key to their success last season, which included two wins over bitter rivals Celtic, was PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year Ryan Kent.

Kent, 22, has returned to his parent club Liverpool after scoring six goals in 27 league outings during an impressive campaign.

The winger is Gerrard’s main target ahead of a busy summer at the club, but according to the Daily Record, interest from Aston Villa and Leeds could turn the player’s head.

Villa are keen to waste no time in strengthening their squad ahead of their Premier League return which they earned by beating Derby in the Championship play-off final in May.

Leeds fans received a huge boost when the club announced an extension to Marcelo Bielsa’s contract, with the Argentine boss expect to achieve nothing less than promotion next season.

Liverpool are keen to see how their player can progress with another year of first team football under his belt, but will listen to any bids for possible permanent deals.

One forward who will be playing for Rangers next season is Northern Ireland international Jordan Jones.

Gerrard sealed a pre-contract agreement with the former Kilmarnock forward in January and he is all set to link up with his new team-mates in pre-season.

“Jordan is a very good player,” ex-Rangers star Kris Boyd told The Sunday Post about the incoming star.

“He operates down the left-hand side but is right-footed, so when he cuts inside, the whole goal opens up, but he is equally as comfortable going down the outside.

“Being able to do both in such good measure makes him a nightmare for defenders.

“He has the ability and mentality to cope with playing for Rangers, I’ve no doubt about that.

“What he does need to improve on, however, is his goals return.

“He knows that himself, and he should be looking to get into double figures at Ibrox because there will be plenty of goalscoring opportunities for him.”

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