Gerrard to quit Rangers? Bookies slash odds on Liverpool homecoming

Leigh Copson:
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Rangers’ devastating collapse in the Scottish Premiership title race has led to a huge amount of speculation surrounding the future of manager Steven Gerrard, and the bookmakers have slashed the odds on him exiting Ibrox and re-joining Liverpool in the title race.

The Gers appeared to be in a strong position to finally end Celtic’s dominance of the domestic game when they ran out deserved 2-1 winners in the east end of Glasgow in late December, but since returning from the mid-season break they have enduring a staggering collapse that has seemingly handed the trophy to their bitter rivals.

Rangers may have done brilliantly to progress to the last-16 of the Europa League, but domestically they have been an embarrassment in recent weeks, with the lowlights being an away defeat to then rock-bottom Hearts and a pathetic 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Hamilton Academical.

Those losses have helped Celtic open up a commanding 13-point lead at the summit, so could Rangers at least win the Scottish Cup to finally bring a trophy back to the trophy room and salvage some pride?

The answer that question was no – once again they turned up at Tynecastle and humiliated themselves with a 1-0 defeat to Hearts.

So unless Celtic suffer a staggering collapse and Rangers suddenly explode into life, manager Gerrard is facing up to a third season without leading the club to a major trophy and that simply will not do for a fanbase who are becoming increasingly dejected as their team fails to take that final step.

The Liverpool legend has admitted himself that he is at his lowest ebb since arriving at Ibrox and although he has insisted he is not prepared to walk away from the job, the bookmakers are beginning to wonder if a return to Liverpool would tempt him to end his time in Glasgow?

Don’t worry Liverpool fans, Jurgen Klopp is going nowhere.

However, Neil Critchley has this week stepped down as manager of Liverpool’s U23 side to join Blackpool, and Paddy Power has responded by slashing the odds on Gerrard becoming the next boss of what is essentially the reserve team all the way in from 100/1 to just 5/1.

“Could Steven Gerrard be set to leave Rangers for the vacant Liverpool U23 role,” said a spokesperson for Paddy Power.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in betting on exactly that [during Thursday morning]. It could be a move which satisfies both sets of fans as the Scottish side slip further into a rut.”

Although Gerrard’s odds have been slashed significantly he is not the favourite for the Liverpool U23s job, with U18s coach Barry Lewtas the current Even-money favourite ahead of current U23 coach and head of analysis Tim Jenkins at 6/4.