The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has revealed that Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is looking to lure Leon King away from former club Rangers.
Writing initially on Twitter, he said: “Some transfer news into @birmingham_live prior to kick-off as Gerrard looks to take full advantage of Leon King’s contract situation at Rangers. The 17-year-old was promoted to first-team sessions under SG. Cut-price deal for #avfc via @RichardCusackBM”
Then, in a follow-up article for The Birmingham Mail, Preece added: “Aston Villa are considering a move for Rangers youngster Leon King – who they could get for just over £200k. The Ibrox side are in talks with their talented 17-year-old over a new contract. The young defender has still to agree an extension with the Scottish champions and as it stands he runs out of contract in the summer and could move in a cut-price cross-border switch.
“King is seen as one of the top, young talents north of the border and he is already being tracked by a host of top English clubs, including Manchester United, Newcastle United and Leicester City.”
While Dean Smith oversaw the signings of the likes of Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia in particular over the course of the summer transfer window, there’s no questioning that having Gerrard as your club’s manager brings with it a far bigger pull and attraction.
The former Liverpool skipper is an icon and someone who players around the world will be familiar with, and whether it’s a young starlet like King, or a more established first-team star, the lure of playing for Gerrard could prove to be a difference-maker for Villa.
With Preece claiming that the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle and Leicester are all keeping a track of King, Villa face a real battle on their hands to sign the 17-year-old.
Gerrard’s own connection with Rangers as the club’s former boss could be decisive, however, while the prospect of working under a young manager who clearly rates him already could further persuade the teenager.
Villa fans will no doubt be delighted at Preece’s latest transfer update. After all, this feels like the ideal match for Gerrard and the player.