With Rangers being refused permission to speak to Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, who are the other contenders for the Ibrox top job?
Graeme Murty (SkyBet odds: 8/1)
The least experienced manager on this list and current caretaker boss and academy manager Graeme Murty is a possible option; although very unlikely he’ll be called upon on a permanent basis. It’s the former Reading defender’s second spell as caretaker after taking over last season following Mark Warburton’s dismissal. Murty certainly knows the club but doesn’t seem to be cut out for the job as the pressure seemed to get to him after the Dundee defeat; not taking any credit away from the bloke he’s done fairly well stepping in at the last moment.
Would I personally consider Murty? No – he just isn’t ready to manage the 1st team, stick to managing the youth academy for now.
Michael O’Neill (SkyBet odds: 16/1)
The Northern Ireland manager has attracted some decent sized clubs who’ve all approached him but Rangers are yet to confirm interest in the Portadown born boss. O’Neill is one of the few actually holding a position at the moment, meaning around £500K compensation may have to be paid to the Northern Irish FA. O’Neill has been in a job almost every day since he took up coaching; he started out with Brechin City for two years before he was appointed at Irish side Shamrock Rovers, which eventually led him to the Northern Ireland job in 2011. Since taking over the national side he has qualified for a European Championship, narrowly missed out on a World Cup and made Northern Ireland one of the best European teams at home, after they went from 2013 to 2017 without a home loss.
Would I consider O’Neill? Yes – he’s done a great job with the Northern Irish national team, as shown above, he is a British manager who knows all about us and is a ‘right field’ more close to home appointment. The board tried the ‘left field’ appointment with Caixinha and it didn’t work out so the traditional thing is to go back to a British boss who the fans know. It happened after Le Guen left when we appointed Walter. It appears Scotland may be the favourites to land O'Neill though!
Alex McLeish SkyBet odds: 18/1
One of a few former Rangers managers linked with an Ibrox return, McLeish was an early favourite and was even odds on to be appointed at one stage. The former Aston Villa and Birmingham City manager didn’t leave Glasgow on the best of terms and has since managed in England and Belgium. Obviously Alex knows the club well and has lots of managerial experience elsewhere too but can you see him being welcomed back?
Would I personally consider McLeish? No – I’m not a big fan of ex-players and managers returning as it very rarely works out and as a fan you remember the good times and expect them to return if he is appointed. For that reason McLeish shouldn’t be considered for the job.
Aitor Karanka SkyBet odds: 18/1
The former Real Madrid assistant and defender is also a bookies choice for the job. The Spaniard recently was dismissed by Middlesbrough after relegation from the Premier League last season however; he was the man who originally brought the Teesiders up from the Championship. Karanka was most recently linked with the Sunderland job and was also an early favourite for the Rangers post but slowly descended down the bookies’ list. His only managerial experience is at Middlesbrough and a two year stint in charge of the Spain U16s side, as well as being assistant to Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu. Karanka has a reputation of defensive, passing football with a ‘boring’ sense to it.
Would I consider Karanka? No – he could be considered as a ‘left field’ appointment as he hasn’t had a great deal of managerial experience and has spent very little time in Britain managing. Some fans, as would I, prefer a British manager who knows what we’re about and Karanka just doesn’t tick the boxes.
Neil McCann SkyBet odds: 18/1
Derek McInnes isn’t the only former bear to be linked with a return to Ibrox as manager given Dundee boss Neil McCann has also been thrown into the mix. McCann played five years for us after signing from Hearts in 1998, becoming somewhat of a fans favourite before later going on to do a bit of punditry for Sky. McCann’s Dundee men beat caretaker boss Graeme Murty’s side recently 2-1 at Dens Park but he isn’t in the safest of jobs at the moment with pressure building on the Greenock born man but he certainly turned the fortunes of Dundee when he first arrived. Again he has limited managerial experience but he does have knowledge of the club and knows what it means to be part of our club.
Would I consider McCann? Yes – he's a long shot but who knows what he can do with a budget, a bit of support from some decent coaches and maybe even guidance from someone like Walter in a ‘directors’ role. It would be a risk, perhaps a risk the board aren’t willing to take but it could be a decent appointment in the long run.
Jurgen Klinsman SkyBet odds: 20/1
The former Spurs man and ex Germany international’s most recent venture was with the USA national side. However Klinsman failed to qualify them to the 2018 World Cup, losing out to Panama. Arguably he had one of the best American squads in years with Pulisic as a focal point. Klinsman also recently declared his interest of the vacant Australia job after leaving the USA national side. The 53 year old has some managerial experience apart from his role in the States where he won the 2013 Gold Cup; he managed the German national team between 2004 and 2006, getting a third place World Cup finish in 2006 and a third place in the 2005 Confederations Cup. He also managed Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich for 44 games between 2008 and 2009, where captain Phillip Lahm criticised him heavily.
Would I consider Klinsman? Yes – he seems well decorated in terms of win ratio; he obviously had a torrid time at Munich but he got over that with the USA job. Personally, I don’t think he’d consider Rangers but I think he’d be a marquee appointment.
There are literally dozens of people we could discuss as possible managers given the scores of applications Rangers apparently recieved and the variety of names you can bet on. At this stage, McInnes still seems the most likely if we can agree a compensation package with Aberdeen. There is also some debate about whether or not his coaching team - including Celtic fan Tony Docherty - will come with him. Who do you think will be the next Rangers manager? Let me know on Twitter @ethan_thoburn!
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