Liverpool legend Gerrard insists he was never going to manage Everton
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard insists him becoming the new Everton boss was never a possibility due to his status as a Liverpool legend.
When Carlo Ancelotti left Goodison Park earlier this summer to return to Real Madrid, Everton were forced to find a replacement ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
Various names like Eddie Howe, Nuno Espirito Santo and Graham Potter we mentioned alongside, rather surprisingly, Gerrard.
The Rangers boss is enjoying a burgeoning reputation as a manager and coach in Scotland, having stopped Celtic from winning 10 league titles in a row last season.
He has been tipped for numerous jobs back in England, but he says he'll never manage Everton, while defending Rafa Benitez from the backlash he has received from Liverpool fans for taking the job.
"Rafa wasn't born in the city, he's not a red through-and-through and he never played against Everton for 20 years and competed against them, so I think it's a very different situation [to mine]," Gerrard told ESPN.
"Rafa is his own man and will make his own professional decisions, so there's no surprise that he wanted to get back in the Premier League at a big club and have the opportunity to compete against all the top teams in the league, so I wasn't very shocked and surprised at all in all honesty.
"I was very shocked and surprised that my name was linked to the job. I don't know where it came from, whether it was paper talk or if there was any truth in it, I'm not sure.
"[Managing Everton] is never a possibility as far as I'm concerned."
Gerrard v Ancelotti
Rangers will take on Real Madrid in a glamour friendly at Ibrox this weekend, and Gerrard is looking forward to picking the brain of one the best around in Ancelotti.
"I must admit, it was a surprise [when Carlo left Everton], but I'm not complaining," Gerrard said.
"He was the manager at my big rivals and was doing a superb job - he's one of the best managers in the world he has been for some time.
"I've experienced playing against him and it will be an absolute pleasure to share a touchline with him and to try and learn and tap into his knowledge if I get the opportunity because he is someone I have looked up to for a long time.
"I have watched a lot of footage of him as a player as well and what he has given to this sport is incredible. He's a winner as a player and a manager, so it will be a pleasure to have him at Ibrox."
Rangers have already played three pre-season friendlies this summer, defeating Partick Thistle 1-0, losing 1-0 to Tranmere and then drawing 2-2 with Arsenal.
Their Scottish Premiership campaign kicks off on 31 July versus Livingston.