RANGERS fan favourite Graeme Souness has played down talk of Steven Gerrard swapping Ibrox for St James' Park following speculation linking the England and Liverpool great to Newcastle United.

The Premier League club were recently taken over by a Saudi-led investment firm, leaving current manager Steve Bruce in a precarious position in his role.

Former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, ex-Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and Belgium's Roberto Martinez are all believed to be in contention for the top job at Newcastle, and Gerrard is another coach who the bookies believe could be tempted to join the Magpies.

The takeover at St James' Park has been highly controversial due to the human rights abuses that have taken place in Saudi Arabia, and Souness thinks Gerrard would be wise to steer clear of the whole situation - and wait for the "inevitable" offer to one day return to Anfield as manager.

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He told Clyde1 Superscoreboard: "I don’t think it’s one he should go near.

"My advice to him would be to stay where he is.

"Although he has been in the Rangers job for three years, he’ll realise that’s a short time in management.

"He’s still learning after three years – but he’ll still be learning after 23 years.

"I think he should wait, and he will wait, for the Liverpool job. It’s inevitable he’ll get offered it.

"I don’t see Jurgen [Klopp] being there beyond the next two or three years. If Steven ends up being Rangers manager for five or six years, that’s a great education for him.

"I don’t think there’s any lure at Newcastle - and when you look at the human rights aspect, I would find it hard to go and work for that club again with the new owners.

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"I wouldn’t do it. I just would not do it."

Souness added that Gerrard is receiving the perfect education at Ibrox to one day take the reins at Liverpool - because the pressure of Glasgow's Old Firm goldfish bowl can't be replicated at a mid-table Premier League club. 

"There’s managing big football clubs and managing medium-sized football clubs," he explained. "There’s a world of difference in terms on intensity and what’s expected of you.

"I’ve always maintained that managing at Rangers and Celtic is as difficult as it gets. I remember saying that to Martin O’Neill and he agreed - simply because the focus is on you all the time.

"If you go down to England work for some clubs outside the top four or five, that scrutiny isn’t there.

"He’s getting a great education now for the next one which I think will be Liverpool."