ALLY MCCOIST is still hopeful that Steven Gerrard will remain at Rangers, but if the Liverpool legend departs Ibrox, Dean Smith would be his choice of a replacement.

Gerrard looks set to join Villa after Smith was axed over the weekend.

Gerrard is contracted to Rangers until the summer of 2024 - the same time that Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool deal expires - but could now be on his way out of Ibrox sooner rather than later.

On talkSPORT this morning McCoist and Villa legend Gabby Agbonlahor debated whether Gerrard would make the move.

McCoist said: "I think the next manager of Aston Villa will be Roberto Martinez. My reason for saying that is probably my heart ruling my head.

"I would be gutted if Gerrard left but thankful for him winning the title last season. It is a big decision.

"A lot of people think it is a straight forward decision. Hopefully Steven won't regret it.

"Longer term I would love to see him manage Liverpool. I think that is where his heart is."

On the next manager of Rangers he continued: "By the way I said that yesterday. I would take Dean Smith. I would."

Agbonlahor added: "I think he will be at Villa Park by this time next week to prepare them for a must win game against Brighton at home.

"He would definitely be emotional about it because he seems to love it at Rangers."