According to the Daily Star (via the Express), the Midlands side are said to be ‘pressing ahead’ with their move to bring the 25-year-old to Villa Park, having been heavily linked with a deal this summer.
The report suggests that Gerrard is a ‘huge fan’ of the England international and is readying a £30m bid in order to try and tempt the Merseyside outfit into a sale, with the player facing a ‘dilemma’ over whether to stay at Anfield or depart.
Despite falling down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp in recent times, the Reds boss is believed to be keen to keep the former Charlton Athletic man at the club for the long-term, with two years still to run on his existing deal.
The 11-cap colossus has undoubtedly endured a difficult period in recent times after falling out of favour for both club and country, having once been tipped to be the Three Lions’ next Bobby Moore by pundit Garth Crooks.
Having missed almost the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign after suffering a knee injury while on international duty, the £16.2m-rated brute was then restricted to a viewing brief again last term, making just four Premier League starts – all of which came as a makeshift right-back.
With Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate ahead of him in Klopp’s centre-back pecking order, the £85k-per-week star has somewhat fallen by the wayside of late, with a departure perhaps best for all parties.
Not that Villa would be acquiring a busted flush, however, with the London-born defender having previously been instrumental in Liverpool’s title triumph in the 2019/20 campaign, notably averaging 0.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 2.1 clearances from his 28 league outings.
Once dubbed “one of the most underrated players in the Premier League” by John Barnes, Gomez is an undoubted talent who is simply in need of regular game time, something that the Villans would seemingly be able to offer.
Those two potential new arrivals could potentially form a hugely exciting and destructive defensive pairing, with Ake perhaps another in need of more action to truly showcase his impressive talent.
Even with his involvement limited under Pep Guardiola – making just 14 league outings last term – the versatile Dutchman still compares favourably to his peers across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 4% for progressive carries, as well as in the top 13% for aerial duels won.
Two players comfortable in possession but that can defend first and foremost, the duo could well provide an instant upgrade to a squad that shipped 54 top-flight goals last term – the tenth-worst record in the division.
Signing both may seem fanciful – having already brought in Diego Carlos – although with doubts over the futures of both Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, a double swoop from NSWE could well be what is needed.