FORMER Celtic and Scotland striker Charlie Nicholas reckons Rangers fans don't have to worry too much about the prospect of Newcastle United snapping up Steven Gerrard - because the Premier League club are still years away from where they would need to be to entice the Liverpool great down south.

The Magpies were last week purchased by a Saudi Arabia-led consortium, making them one of the richest clubs in the world, and speculation over new arrivals - both on the park and in the dugout - has been rife.

Gerrard has been named among the bookies' favourites to succeed Steve Bruce at St James' Park, should the 60-year-old be replaced, and is a front runner along with Lucien Favre, Roberto Martinez and Antonio Conte.

However, Nicholas believes that Gerrard's head won't be turned by the riches on offer in the north east of England - arguing that Newcastle are YEARS away from being able to tempt the Ibrox boss south of the border.

"I don’t see why Steven Gerrard would be even remotely interested in taking the Newcastle United job," Nicholas wrote in his Daily Express column.

"Newcastle have a long history. But why would he want the job? Because they are in the English Premier League?

"Yes, there will be major investment and they will go after better quality players now that the new Saudi Arabian owners are in at St James' Park.

"They have made it clear that it is their long-term plan. But it might take five years - or even longer.

"Is Gerrard going to jump ship for a five-year plan?

"You have to remember that guys like Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness have tried this job and failed to bring success.

"Many different types of coaches have taken the job but failed to deliver at Newcastle.

"OK, you might have the finances now, but that doesn't guarantee success.

"It is going to take time to build up Newcastle because there is no way they are going to be able to sign stars such as PSG's Kylian Mbappe and the like. That is pie-in-the-sky thinking.

"We don't even know if Newcastle - without a league win this season - are going to survive in the Premier League.

"It could be a far different proposition two years down the line for Gerrard but now isn't the right time.

"I'm also not sure the Rangers manager would be on Newcastle's list. And, even if he is, he probably won't be in their top three.

"I reckon they will look for a more experienced manager and, in fact, I would expect them to be courting continental candidates."