Rangers: Steven Gerrard will think he can close gap to Celtic - Mark Lawrenson

Steven Gerrard has been in talks with Rangers
Gerrard is a youth coach at Liverpool, where he spent 17 years as a player

Steven Gerrard will be confident in his ability to close the gap on Celtic if he takes up the offer to become Rangers manager, says Mark Lawrenson.

Former Liverpool and England captain Gerrard, 37, has confirmed he has held "positive talks" with the Ibrox club.

"The big thing is the recruitment," said ex-Liverpool defender Lawrenson.

"If they can get that sorted, and have a real chance of getting very close to Celtic, I think ultimately that is what he thinks he can do."

Gerrard has been an Under-18s coach with Liverpool's academy since retiring from playing in 2016.

Rangers are looking for a replacement for Graeme Murty, who was sacked as interim boss on Tuesday. Murty's last act was to oversee a 5-0 defeat at Celtic Park, which wrapped up a seventh successive title for the hosts.

Rangers sit third in the Premiership, 13 points behind Celtic with three matches of the campaign remaining.

Mark Lawrenson
Lawrenson does not think the English Championship is a good fit for Steven Gerrard

"The thing with Stevie is, he has done really well with the Under-18s at Liverpool," added Lawrenson, who played for the Anfield club from 1981-1988, winning five titles.

"It is no good him moving to [Liverpool] Under-23s - they are a mish-mash of players, with some who don't play for the first-team.

"So then in his own mind, he has got to go somewhere. I don't see him getting a Premier League job, so do you go to the Championship?

"I am a massive Preston North End fan and see so many games, and I am thinking if I am Stevie, I don't go anywhere near the Championship.

"But Rangers, all of a sudden, I think it is attractive.

"We know Celtic are the dominant team and their wage bill is far in excess of any of the other teams.

"But at the very least, I am pretty sure he will have assurances in writing, in terms of his backroom staff, the money he can spend and the wage bill.

"[Former Rangers and Liverpool manager] Graeme Souness wrote the other day [in the Sunday Times] that 'Stevie, you have absolutely no idea what it is like'. Well, he probably hasn't, but that is not such a bad thing.

"Can you imagine Rangers players being coached on the training pitch by Steven Gerrard? He walks into the dressing room and he immediately commands total respect."