Graeme Souness lifts lid on Rangers manager talks, why he wanted Frank Lampard and his imminent return to Ibrox

Graeme Souness wanted Frank Lampard to become the next Rangers manager. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Graeme Souness wanted Frank Lampard to become the next Rangers manager. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Graeme Souness wanted Frank Lampard to become the next Rangers manager. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Graeme Souness has revealed he backed Frank Lampard to become the next Rangers manager over Philippe Clement before the club opted for the Belgian.

Rangers brought club legend Souness on board as an advisor throughout the process of recruiting a replacement for Michael Beale but decided not to go with his recommendation of the former England midfielder.

Souness felt Lampard had the edge over Clement despite his recent struggles at Chelsea and Everton but he was more than happy to support the club's decision to go with the former Monaco and Brugge boss.

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Speaking on talkSPORT, Souness said: “There were two outstanding candidates; Frank and Philippe. The final say wasn’t with me. For me, Frank had the edge because of this; Frank, I think, has still got a great deal to offer. Taking the Chelsea job when he did was always going to be very, very difficult. The Everton job is a basket case. And have they improved since Frank left? Not a bit. So, I wouldn’t be too critical of Frank. The thing that encouraged me about Frank is that he wanted to do it. He doesn’t need the money. He wants to be a successful manager. And he fancied the Rangers job.”

On Clement, the 70-year-old added: “He interviewed brilliantly. He’s got presence. He’s got a very, very good CV and he played the game,” Souness added. “He was an outstanding candidate, and that’s why the board went with him. I fully get that.

“Football players are a cynical judge. You stand in front of them, and they are judging you. This guy has got presence, stature and his English is excellent. He talks what I think is sensible football chat. He’s not making it too scientific like a hell of a lot of coaches do today.”

Souness, who won three consecutive league titles as Rangers manager in the late 1980s, revealed he is also edging closer to an emotional return to Govan in a consultancy/ambassador role.

He held talks with club chief executive James Bisgrove during the summer but turned down the role he was offered. Talks have since progressed with Souness set to take up an official Ibrox role.

“I’m not sure it’s a senior advisory role," he said. "It’s more of a consultant, ambassador. But I’m a Rangers supporter.

“I had the chance to go back early season and I didn’t feel the job description was right for me but I’d love to help them. I want them to be successful again. I want them to be top of the league, I want them to be top of the Scottish game and do well in Europe going forward. If I can offer any advice to any part of the footballing part of the job then I’ll do it. And I have to say I’m pretty close to agreeing everything, we’ve just got a few things to iron out."



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