fabian delph
Aston Villa\'s Fabian Delph has been earmarked as the long term successor for Steven Gerrard by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool are reportedly monitoring Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph as a replacement for Steven Gerrard.

According to the Mirror, Brendan Rodgers is already planning for life without the skipper and has identified the English midfielder as the player to bring in to add the needed steel to the midfield in the absence of Gerrard.

Delph has been impressive for the Villans this season, and his performances also earned him his first Three Lions cap during England's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. The midfielder is on the final year of his contract and is yet to sign an extension and could be available for free in the summer.

But manager Paul Lambert could cash in on the player rather than lose him on a free at the end of the campaign. Apart from Liverpool, Delph has also been linked to Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in recent months.

Gerrard, who will be 35 years old by the end of the campaign is also on the final year of his contract and is yet to agree an extension after finding himself increasingly on the bench this season. Despite the manager making it clear that the club wants the former Three Lions skipper to remain with the club, it is believed that he is already seriously thinking about the future and identifying replacements for his skipper.

Meanwhile, Reds defender Kolo Toure has praised summer arrival Lazar Markovic for a great performance during Liverpool's 3-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Bournemouth.

"I am very proud of Markovic. Since he came here, he hasn't had a lot of chances to play but he's shown great character and worked hard in training. He is a great boy, works hard, is very quick and technically is very, very good," Toure said, as quoted on Liverpool's official site.