Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is meeting with chairman Stewart Milne for crunch talks after Rangers were denied permission to speak with the Pittodrie boss, Press Association Sport understands.
The Dons manager did not take training on Wednesday morning as he instead headed for a face-to-face meeting with Milne to discuss his future.
Rangers have finally made it clear they want the 46-year-old to be Pedro Caixinha’s replacement after six weeks of rumour and speculation.
But the Dons have knocked back their opening approach, stating on Tuesday night that “permission has been refused”.
It now appears that the ball is in McInnes’ court, with reports suggesting he may have to consider resigning from his Pittodrie post in order to force through a move to his boyhood heroes, who he served as a player between 1995 and 2000.
Rangers decided to wait until last week’s doubleheader with the Reds was out of the way before making their move.
The Dons lost both clashes to their arch rivals and now face a huge clash at Dundee on Friday night as they look to reclaim second spot from the Ibrox men.
But preparation for that Dens Park showdown was today left in the hands of first-team coach Barry Robson and under-20s boss Paul Sheerin.
Rangers will need to pay a fee in the region of £1million to land both McInnes and his number two Tony Docherty but Gers insiders insist the club’s have yet to even discuss compensation figures.
A Rangers source told Press Association Sport: “This whole matter is now in Aberdeen’s hands.
“Rangers have made their move but they now just have to wait and see what happens.
“The outcome of Derek’s meeting with the chairman up there will decide the next move.”