STEVEN GERRARD has been sent a major warning amid speculation linking him the vacant Aston Villa role.

The Premier League outfit sacked Dean Smith this week after three years in charge with Villa 16th in the Premier League.

He took Villa back to the top flight in 2019 and helped them beat the drop on the final day in 2020. They finished 11th last season but sold skipper Jack Grealish to Manchester City for £100million.

Smith signed Emi Buendia, for a record deal worth £38m, while also buying Leon Bailey and Danny Ings to replace Grealish in the summer.

But Villa fired the former Walsall and Brentford boss after a run of five straight defeats.

Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman has been speaking in his column for regarding rumours linking Gerrard with the vacant manager’s job at Aston Villa.

And he has sent a major warning to his former Anfield teammate.

He said: “The way Aston Villa have treated Dean Smith is absolutely atrocious. They were fifteenth in the Championship. He’s taken them to where they are now and they’ve lost their best player in Jack Grealish.

"Yes they’ve had a couple of bad results. They were 2-0 up against Wolves, which ended 3-2, but wasn’t the manager’s fault. But five defeats on the bounce and they’ve just cast him aside.

"The way he’s been treated is diabolical. It’s just considered ‘the norm’ and ‘acceptable’ to treat people like this in football. He’s not been given the chance to get himself out of it. You win 20 on the bounce - it’s great. You lose five on the bounce - you lose your job. It’s just awful.

“So if it was Steven going to that club I would just say ‘No!’ The way that they’ve treated their manager, does that mean if Steven loses five on the bounce is he going to get canned as well? And it’s just accepted?! Absolutely not.

“The main thing is to be happy, to have a relationship with your owner, to have a relationship with the people above, trust each other - and trust each other when things are going a little bit south rather than when everything is going great all the time because you can’t be great all the time, it’s impossible.

“They needed time to get themselves together, and they’ve just chucked him aside. I feel sorry for him. 

“It just shows you what football management really is now, and it turns out it’s not very pleasant at all.”