Rangers are confident they will land Derek McInnes as their new manager this week. Sources close to the Ibrox club believe the international break provides them with the breathing space to lure McInnes from Aberdeen before the end of the week.
Despite announcing losses of £6.7 million for the last financial year on Friday, Rangers consider they are in a position to make the move happen. They are ready both to meet the £800,000 compensation required to release McInnes from a contract he signed only in the summer, and provide him a personal package and player budget that would tempt him away from Aberdeen, a club he has turned into the consistent closest league challengers to Celtic across four-and-a-half years in charge.
Despite reports yesterday linking former England manager Steve McClaren and one-time Sunderland manager Gus Poyet to the Ibrox position, McInnes, with his exhaustive knowledge of the Scottish scene, is considered best suited to stabilising the Ibrox club following the flakiness during Pedro Caixinha’s seven month tenure.
A second consecutive victory for Rangers under interim manager Graeme Murty yesterday that took the form of a cakewalk over Partick Thistle has brought more calls for the club’s development team manager to be given the role full-time. Murty, though, maintained he would not be adding to these calls.
“I will never ever shout my attributes or plaudits from the roof tops but I am a very big believer in doing a very good job and allowing the job to speak for itself,” he said with reference to a second successful spell holding the reins.
Murty was at pains to distance himself from suggestions that with the wins over Thistle and away to Hearts in recent weeks, and the draw at Celtic Park last March, he has made management of Rangers appear easier than was true of men who have gone before him – in the form of Mark Warburton and Caixinha.
“No, no, no I am not [making it look easy],” Murty maintained. “It helps when you have talented players who work extremely hard and to a framework of how we like the game to be played. But they have to be the ones to go out and execute and I thought the cross for Ross [McCrorie’s] header and the way we got in for Danny [Candeias’s] goal showed they can take in and implement tactical information really well and it makes this job appear easy, in your words – I would never say that.
“I really enjoyed this week in training. At times you saw us move the ball about recycle it really well. Second half I was a wee bit frustrated but I have just said to them in there, I will never criticise them for winning, I will never criticise them for scoring those goals but we know that we can do better and they have agreed with me. This is not the standard they want to aspire to. They want to get better which is very, very pleasing for a manager to hear.”