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Gerrard rejects chance to replace Benitez at Newcastle

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has rejected the chance to speak to Newcastle about becoming the club’s new manager.

Newcastle are seeking a new manager following the departure of Rafael Benitez, with the Spaniard having left at the expiry of his contract and moving to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

Gerrard had emerged as a potential target for controversial owner Mike Ashley following an impressive debut season in management at the Scottish side, however, the former Liverpool midfielder is set to reject Newcastle’s advances and remain at Ibrox.

According to the Mirror, Gerrard – along with Nice manager Patrick Vieira – was shortlisted by Ashley to replace Benitez, though the Newcastle chief admitted the hopes of tempting either to St. James’ Park were slim.

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Rangers‘ competitive season begins this week with a Europa League clash against St.Joseph’s of Gibraltar, and the club are said to have been angered by Ashley’s approach for Gerrard.

The approach will further increase tensions between Ashley and the Scottish club, following the retail entrepreneur’s previous relationship with the Glasgow side.

Ashley previously owned a stake in Rangers, though his investment was met with protests and saw a long-running feud between the two parties end up in court.

The Newcastle owner will now turn his attentions to finding an alternative managerial target, with the club’s players having already returned for pre-season.

It promises to be another pre-season of turmoil on Tyneside, with the club’s supporters fearing the worst following the departure of Benitez and exits of star forwards Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez.