Graeme Murty to remain for 2017 as Rangers take swipe at Derek McInnes
The Pittodrie boss was Gers’ number one choice to replace Pedro Caixinha.
But the 46-year-old has stunned Scottish football by knocking back the club he supported as a boy and went on to serve as a player.
Now the Light Blues have confirmed caretaker boss Murty will remain in charge until the winter break at least - meaning he will lead Gers out at will Celtic Park for the second time this year.
The club have also taken a thinly-veiled swipe at McInnes by saying in a statement that it was in the manager’s best interests to stay at Aberdeen because the move to Ibrox would have been a “big step”.
Murty has already overseen six games so far on his return to interim management duties, having previously filled the role after Mark Warburton’s departure.
Back-to-back defeats against Hamilton and Dundee appeared to have killed off the former Reading defender’s chances of landing the post permanently but, having outsmarted McInnes twice last week, he will now re-enter the running.
Rangers confirmed that he will take charge of the club’s six remaining fixtures of 2017 - including the December 30 Old Firm showdown at Parkhead.
Murty claimed a creditable 1-1 draw against Brendan Rodgers’ men back in March and now Gers chiefs have praised him for holding things together in the wake of Caixinha’s sacking.
“In the meantime, we have great confidence in Graeme Murty, who will continue as interim manager at least until the end of the year,” their statement said. “The manner in which he has approached this task is a credit to himself and the club.”
But while the Gers statement had only warm words for their under-20s coach, there was a barely-disguised swipe at McInnes for rejecting his Govan return.
And they also claim a request for talks with McInnes was only submitted to Aberdeen because they wanted to “assess” whether the former St Johnstone and Bristol City boss was up to the job.
The statement added: “After the two games against Aberdeen, we requested permission to engage with their manager to assess his readiness and willingness to consider the Rangers position. This was declined.
“We were subsequently made aware by Aberdeen’s statement that, at this stage in his career, it would be best for him to remain in his current post.
“We endorse that position because moving to a massive club like Rangers is a big step with concomitant risk.
“We continue to consider candidates but will only appoint someone in whom we have full confidence and who feels he is ready for the job.”