Rangers manager Steven Gerrard during the Europa League, Qualifying Round One, First Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 12, 2018. See PA story SOCCER Rangers. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Steven Gerrard doubles down on Newcastle manager speculation

Steven Gerrard has carved out an impressive first stint as a senior manager and it has led to speculation over the Newcastle job, but the former club captain was not entertaining such talk.

Less than two weeks after Newcastle‘s takeover by the Saudi royal family was given the green light, Steve Bruce departed the club to leave a notable vacancy at St James’ Park.

The 60-year-old’s tenure was nothing short of turbulent and the job took its toll.

“I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough. To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail,” he told the Telegraph.

And now all eyes are on Newcastle following their elevation into one of world football’s richest clubs and Gerrard was linked with the top job prior to Bruce’s exit.

The 41-year-old distanced himself from the speculation at that time and following Rangers’ impressive 2-0 Europa League win over Brondby on Thursday he was no-nonsense once more.

“Do I look happy? Do I look settled? Don’t ask me silly questions then,” he said to BT Sport when asked what he would say to those linking him with a move away from Ibrox.

It was said with a wry grin but with conviction all the same as he continues to savour the job he is undertaking with Rangers – who sit top of the Scottish Premiership after nine games in their title-defending season.

There appears to be no current desire to make the move to the Premier League with Newcastle but for many the sense is it will be only a matter of time for Gerrard, who has long been linked with one day managing Liverpool.

For Newcastle, meanwhile, Graeme Jones is to take interim charge with ex-Roma manager Paulo Fonseca a firm favourite while Eddie Howe, Lucien Favre and Frank Lampard have all be linked.