Aston Villa could well be nearing a notable summer setback, following an update on the future of assistant coach Michael Beale.
As per the Telegraph’s John Percy, the Englishman is close to leaving his post at Villa Park, with Championship side Queens Park Rangers said to be keen on appointing the 41-year-old as their new manager.
Having previously reported that Beale was a potential candidate for the Loftus Road outfit, the respected journalist has now taken to Twitter to reveal that an agreement is now imminent: “QPR are close to appointing Michael Beale as manager. Beale is very keen to become a No 1 and AVFC have known there was always a chance of this happening since appointing Steven Gerrard.”
The west Londoners have been searching for a new permanent appointment following the departure of former Brentford boss Mark Warburton at the end of the 2021/22 campaign, after three seasons at the helm.
After the highs of Villa’s early summer transfer business, this latest news will no doubt bring manager Steven Gerrard crashing back down to earth, with the Liverpool legend set to lose his trusty right-hand man in the coming days or weeks.
Formerly a part of the youth set-up with the Merseysiders, Beale was plucked by Gerrard following the latter man’s appointment as Rangers boss in the summer of 2018, with the duo going on to help guide the Old Firm outfit to a first league title in ten years in 2021.
The highly-rated coach then linked up with the former England captain again in the Midlands following Dean Smith’s sacking in November, with the expectation seemingly having been that he would remain a key part of the coaching set-up moving forward.
As it is, the Villans’ number two is now set for pastures new, leaving behind a notable void that will have to be swiftly filled before the Premier League resumes in early August.
For those on the outside looking in, it may not be too great a setback to lose an assistant coach, although Gerrard is acutely aware of the impact that his colleague has on the training pitch, previously stating of his compatriot that: “It would take me 15 to 20 years to become as good as Michael Beale as an on-pitch coach, delivering sessions on a daily basis, so I let Mick be Mick because he’s the expert.
“What I’ll never do is try to do someone else’s job when they are better than me at doing it. A lot of people won’t have a clue what Michael Beale does on the training pitch, but what he does is really quite special.”
Dubbed a “genius” by former Gers striker Jermain Defoe, Beale has also been credited as the “brains” behind the operation in Gerrard’s coaching staff, according to Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty.
That glowing praise highlights just what a loss the Bromley-born gem will be to his current employers, with the Villa boss, in particular, set to be impacted the most by a man who has been integral to the early success of his managerial career.
Gerrard may be getting the backing at boardroom level in terms of transfers, yet he will be enraged by potentially losing such a dressing room and training ground asset.