Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard tipped to 'make a real splash' this summer

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is set to be ambitious in the summer transfer window and look to splash the cash in order to improve his Villa Park squad, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Gerrard was appointed as the Midlands club’s head coach in November, replacing the sacked Dean Smith, but a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal has seemingly ended their hopes of a late push for a European spot.

Who have Aston Villa been linked with?

According to The Times, Villa have emerged as the frontrunners to prise Kalvin Phillips away from Leeds United.

The report suggests Gerrard has identified the central midfielder as a key target and is willing to part with £60million, along with a lucrative salary, in order to win the race for the 19-cap England international.

Gerrard has also revealed he is keen to sign Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis from La Liga giants Barcelona.

It comes after the Brazilian playmaker headed to Villa Park on an initial loan deal during the winter window, but the agreement includes the option of Coutinho remaining in the Midlands for £33million.

Luis Suarez is reportedly keen to remain in Europe and would consider a return to the Premier League with Villa ahead of his Atletico Madrid contract expiring in the summer, while Liverpool central defender Joe Gomez is understood to have been made a priority signing.

Aston Villa 0-1 Arsenal: Full reaction on The Football Terrace

What has Pete O’Rourke said about the situation?

O’Rourke reckons Gerrard will not be frightened to spend big in order to bolster his options at Villa.

The journalist thinks the 41-year-old has already shown he means business as he looks to turn the Midlands club into regular European qualification contenders.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “We know Gerrard is a very ambitious manager and signed the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne in the last window.

“I’m sure he’ll be looking to go out again and make a real splash in the transfer window to improve the squad.”

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Dean Saunders - Aston Villa

Which club did Dean Saunders start his professional career at?

How has Gerrard shown ambition since taking over at Villa?

Just a matter of days after swapping Rangers for Villa, Gerrard revealed his long-term goal is to guide the Midlands club into European football.

He then followed that up by making the eye-catching signing of Coutinho and spending up to £25million on Everton left-back Digne.

Robin Olsen and Calum Chambers also headed to Villa Park as Gerrard ensured his employers were the continent’s sixth biggest spenders in January.

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