02 May Rangers would not be taking a gamble on Steven Gerrard, says top agent
Rangers will not be taking a gamble if they land Steven Gerrard as their new boss, says top agent Martin Reilly.
But, according to the man who represents Neil Lennon, the former Liverpool and England skipper will be taking a risk if he does not get assurances about the money he will get to spend next season.
Kop favourite Gerrard – who has confirmed he is in talks to take over at Ibrox – has only been coaching for 10 months having taken over the Anfield Under-18s last summer.
A host of pundits have been quick to question the wisdom of the Light Blues – who continue to experience financial troubles – in going after someone with so little first-team dug-out experience.
But Reilly points to the example of Lennon, who after being plucked from Celtic’s youth academy following Tony Mowbray’s sacking went on to win three league titles as well as taking the Hoops to the last 16 of the Champions League, as he insisted Gerrard’s appointment could be a masterstroke by Gers chairman Dave King.
However, before a deal is struck, Reilly reckons Gerrard and his agent Struan Marshall will first demand answers on the budget he will be given when they resume talks with Rangers chiefs on Thursday.
“I’m not one for taking pops at rookie managers because I had one in Neil and he’s been sensational,” said Reilly as he gave Press Association Sport his agent’s perspective.
“He took Celtic to the last 16 of the Champions League – a feat no-one has come close to matching since.
“You need to learn somewhere. Some people get bigger jobs than others. Neil’s first job was at Celtic and look how successful he was.
“The difference with Neil is that he had a solid structure in place at Celtic with Peter Lawwell in charge.
“But nobody really knows where Rangers are at the moment.
“If I was taking a manager in there, the first thing I’d want to know is what’s the budget? I’d want to know that before I even start talking about the contract. I’d want to know what they were planning on doing behind the scenes.
“If I didn’t get the right answers then alarm bells would be ringing.”
Gerrard turned down the chance to take over at MK Dons in 2016 after deciding it was “too soon” to move into management just four months after hanging up his boots.
And Reilly reckons he will walk away again if he does not like what Gers have to say.
“Steven Gerrard is nobody’s mug and I’m sure he will be doing his due diligence on them,” he said.
“Rangers is one of the biggest jobs in European football. But only if things are right.
“If it’s not right it could turn out to be a disaster.
“If Rangers are trying to bring in someone who will attract big-name players to Scotland, then Gerrard definitely ticks those boxes. But that also takes money.
“If Steven Gerrard phones you up and asks, ‘Do you want to sign for Rangers?’, the majority of players will be half way here.
“But their next question will be, ‘For how much?’
“Rangers have got three years to stop 10-in-a-row so they need to get this appointment right. But in management, you’re only as good as what’s above you.”