Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist insists Steven Gerrard is working for a “bigger” club than Newcastle following reports the Premier League club want him as their new manager.
Magpies owner Mike Ashley is on the hunt for Rafa Benitez’s replacement, with sources in the North East claiming Newcastle are “confident” of securing Rangers’ manager Gerrard to succeed his former Liverpool mentor.
If Ashley does move for the Light Blues manager it will set him on another collision course with Gers chairman Dave King, who is still embroiled in a long-running court battle with the Sports Direct tycoon over Rangers’ retail contracts.
But Ibrox favourite McCoist does not believe Gerrard – who has already dismissed links to Derby this week – will be swayed by a move to St James’ Park.
Asked if he was would say that moving to Newcastle would be a step up or a sideways move, McCoist told talkSPORT: “No I’m not actually because… you want me to cause a riot on national radio and I probably will.
“I think Rangers are a bigger club. I think Newcastle play in a far better league. That’s the way I see it at this moment in time.
“You know what I think of north-east football, I absolutely love the people of the north-east and I love the football in the north-east, but what kind of step would it be for Steven Gerrard?
“They’re both massive clubs. They’re actually similar clubs in terms of their support.
“I think they’ve got absolutely fanatical support. Great support. Best supporters in the country I feel, so I’m not sure where I’d sit on it to be honest with you, but I’m not sure right now it would be a great move for Steven Gerrard to be honest with you, because he certainly has unfinished business at Rangers.
“I wish Newcastle all the very best in their search for a new manager, but leave ours.”
McCoist admits he can only see Gerrard leaving Ibrox for a return to Anfield.
“Good managers and good coaches get headhunted,” said Gers’ record scorer. “I would probably say the same regarding Steven as I would Frank Lampard. Timing is not really perfect I wouldn’t have thought.
“I think everybody automatically sees Steven go down the same route that Frank looks as though he’s going down himself and that is a return to the club that you became a hero and and a legend at.
“I think football people should honour their contracts.”
Gerrard has made six signings so far this summer with Charlton’s Joe Aribo primed to become number seven.
His former Liverpool colleague Martin Skrtel has re-emerged as a potential target and McCoist believes the Ibrox boss needs to start targeting ready-made recruits if they are to topple Celtic this season.
Giving his verdict on Gerrard’s business so far, he said: “One or two of the signings might not go right into the team. They need a couple of signings that would do that.
“Martin Skrtel could be one of them. Whether he’s still got it – I’d hope so.
“Rangers signed Bruno Alves before, a top, top-class centre-half but that didn’t really work out.”