NEWCASTLE UNITED are confident they can persuade Steven Gerrard to leave Rangers if they decide to offer him their vacant managerial position – despite the former Liverpool skipper having committed himself to Ibrox at the start of this week.

Gerrard is one of the candidates under serious consideration as Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley looks to finalise a shortlist in the next two days.

With Charnley keen to assess the capabilities of a number of young coaches who have begun to establish a reputation for themselves in the last couple of years, Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira are also coming under serious scrutiny.

Arteta is currently an assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, while Vieira, who has also worked at Manchester City in the past, is currently employed as the manager of French side Nice.

Sean Dyche is one of the more experienced figures to have been discussed, but the Burnley boss still has three years of his current £65,000-a-week a contract to run at Turf Moor, and it could cost Newcastle up to £10m to buy him out of his current deal. That would rule Dyche out of the running given Newcastle’s reluctance to throw money at Rafael Benitez in order to prevent him from walking away.

Eddie Howe, another option with extensive Premier League experience, would not be as expensive as Dyche, but Bournemouth would fight tooth-and-nail to keep their current boss at the Vitality Stadium.

Gerrard’s candidature is interesting as it has always been assumed that the 39-year-old would covet a high-profile Premier League position after serving his apprenticeship with Rangers.

The Northern Echo: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.

The Gers boss has been linked with an anticipated vacancy at Derby County, whose boss Frank Lampard is set to take over at Chelsea, in the last few days.

Gerrard distanced himself from speculation linking him with a possible move to Pride Park, insisting he was happy in the SPL, but after canvassing a range of opinions, the Newcastle hierarchy are confident they could persuade him to move to Tyneside if they opt to offer him a managerial position.

Speaking at the start of the week, during Rangers’ pre-season training camp in Portugal, Gerrard said: “I'm very happy. It's a privilege to be the Rangers manager and my focus is on the coming season.

“It's very similar to when there is noise around players. I ask them to stay focused on the job and that's what I'll continue to do. There's nothing really to add to it.

"I was very lucky and appreciative of the opportunity I got 12 months ago. I came in very focused in season one. Nothing has changed in my mind.

“I'm delighted to be the Rangers manager, I'm managing one of the biggest football clubs you can manage so nothing has changed in terms of my focus.”

Nevertheless, Newcastle will continue to regard Gerrard as a viable candidate as they look to finalise their shortlist, with a view to making an appointment towards the end of next week.