Ally McCoist insists Rangers would be “within their rights” to refuse an approach by Aston Villa for Steven Gerrard

The Light Blues legend reckons Gerrard can go straight from Rangers to Liverpool

Rangers legend Ally McCoist insists an approach from Aston Villa to speak to Steven Gerrard regarding their vacant managerial position would be “interesting”.

However, he believes the Ibrox club are “well within their rights” to refuse any potential request.

The English Premier League outfit, who sacked manager Dean Smith on Sunday following a disappointing run of results, have been strongly linked with a formal approach for the Light Blues manager this week, according to the Daily Mail.

But McCoist disagreed with talkSPORT colleague Simon Jordan’s comments that Gerrard couldn’t go straight from Rangers to his boyhood heroes without bolstering his reputation with a move in between.

Speaking on talkSPORT’s breakfast show this morning, McCoist said: “Oh no, I think he can go straight to Liverpool. He absolutely can.

“I just think there’s a great risk (going to Aston Villa), but it is a possibility. What is the gauge of success now at Villa? Is it top eight? Top six?

“They could be (a good stepping stone) but i’ve got to say, i’m of the opinion Dean Smith may have earned himself a little bit more time.

“Unfortunately he wasn’t given that time. I’m very well aware how cut-throat the business is now and he’s another one that’s got the guillotine as a football manager.

“Simon is right in everything he says apart from one thing, for some reason he doesn’t believe you can go straight from Rangers to Liverpool.

“That baffles me, considering it has been done before. That argument gets blown right out of the water, Graeme Souness did it.

“He’s right in what he says about the league and the quality of it and there’s only effectively two teams that can win the title.

“But with that comes more pressure, so it’s a big, big decision if the reports are right that Villa are to make an approach to speak to Steven at Rangers.

“Rangers are well within their rights to say ‘no we aren’t letting you talk to him’ which would be interesting.

“He wants the Liverpool job, right? What if he goes to Aston Villa and it doesn’t work out? He’s got a better chance of success at Rangers than at Aston Villa, if he wants the Liverpool job.

“He’s got a better chance keeping things ticking along at Rangers, win the league this year and that more success because it’s straight into the group stage of the Champions League.

“The risk and reward, I’m not sure it’s worth it.”

Asked what would happen if Gerrard failed to defend the Scottish Premiership title this season, McCoist added: “It’s quite simple; if you don’t win the league you’re deemed a failure. That’s the bottom line.

“It would be damaging if he didn’t retain it. It’s a big decision to weigh everything up.

Celtic look stronger now than they did last year so it looks like there will be a proper fight for the title.”