Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa will reportedly look to beat his former club Rangers to Manchester City sensation James McAtee.

According to TEAMtalk, Premier League side Aston Villa will look to see off interest from several clubs to secure the signature of Manchester City starlet James McAtee.

The 19-year-old is among the best talents to come through the Manchester City youth setup in recent times. The midfielder has predominantly played for City’s reserve side and has looked the real deal. He has scored 14 goals and provided seven assists in just 15 Premier League 2 games this season and is the top scorer in the competition.

McAtee is held in high regard by Pep Guardiola, who has already handed the youngster his first-team bow. He has so far made three appearances for the Manchester City first team and might have taken his first steps to stardom. While City are in no hurry to sell him, their stance could change if the right offer comes in. Whether this corresponds to a loan move or a permanent switch is unclear.

McAtee’s performances have caught the attention of several clubs such as Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Bournemouth, Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City, and Rangers. It promises to be an interesting race for Aston Villa, who could face off against Steven Gerrard’s former side, Rangers.

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The Liverpool legend took over at Villa Park earlier this season and has turned around the Midlands club’s fortunes. He has also made several excellent January moves that have supplemented the talent in his squad. Adding the 19-year-old Manchester City starlet to the roster will give him another young player with a point to prove.

Gerrard has shown during his time at Rangers that he is capable of building a squad and developing promising young players. One of the greatest midfielders of his generation, the Liverpool legend is as good a choice as any to educate McAtee into taking the best step forward to develop into a world-class midfield star.

However, Aston Villa face competition from Gerrard’s former club Rangers, now managed Giovanni van Bronckhorst. The Dutchman is close friends with Guardiola and could use the relationship with the Manchester City boss to turn the race in his favour.

While McAtee can work under a great former player at either club, he would be best served by moving to Villa Park. The Midlands club appears to be showing ambition, having signed players like Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne, and can offer a higher level of challenge than the Scottish Championship. Whether that will be enough to sway his decision remains to be seen.

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