Rumour Mill: Rangers manager search | Rep of Ire v Scotland

MIKE ASHLEY secures injunction against Rangers; Gordon Strachan relishing Scotland job ahead of Republic of Ireland game; Barry Ferguson says Walter Smith and David Weir should take charge at Ibrox; plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Walter Smith, right, and David Weir have been suggested as a 'dream pairing' to take charge at Rangers by former club captain Barry Ferguson. Picture: Getty Images
Walter Smith, right, and David Weir have been suggested as a 'dream pairing' to take charge at Rangers by former club captain Barry Ferguson. Picture: Getty Images

Gordon Strachan enjoying Scotland job

On the eve of his biggest game as Scotland manager, against Euro 2016 group D opponents Republic of Ireland, Gordon Strachan has emphasised how content he is in his current role.

“All I want to do is make these players and this squad better,” he said. “Anyone who knows me will say I’ve never had a long-term plan for anything. None whatsoever. Billy Connolly says it. He says: ‘I just ended up here.’ It’s a wonderful way to lead your life, I think. It’s fantastic.” (The Scotsman)

Former Dundee United coach and Rangers target Ian Cathro has quit Valencia for 'family reasons'. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Mike Ashley secures Sports Direct-Rangers deal injunction

Mike Ashley delivered a pre-emptive strike against Rangers ahead of today’s shareholders’ meeting at Ibrox when he won a court injunction against the release of confidential details of Sports Direct’s controversial retail deal with the club.

Rangers chairman Dave King had hoped to publicly shed further light on the contract, which is believed to presently bind both parties together until 2022, at the general meeting of shareholders which was called by Newcastle United owner Ashley in a bid to secure immediate repayment of Sports Direct’s £5 million loan to the club. (The Scotsman)

Shay Given leaves something fishy in team-mate’s car

Scotland full-back Alan Hutton has revealed a more playful side to Shay Given, a team-mate at at Aston Villa and a player he’ll face today as Gordon Strachan’s men take on the Republic of Ireland.

Referring to veteran goalkeeper Shay Given, Hutton said: “His best prank was one he did to Fabian Delph two years ago,” said Hutton. “He did something to Shay’s toilet bag so Shay put a fish in his car. Fab went away for the summer and was wondering what the smell was. Then one day he found this fish in his car and realised what Shay had done. He does daft things like that all the time – he’s a big kid and he likes a joke.” (The Scotsman)

Rangers target Ian Cathro quits Valencia

Ian Cathro has raised hopes he may become the next Rangers manager after he quit his post as Valencia’s No. 2 yesterday. The 28-year-old Scot said “family reasons” were behind his decision to leave the Spanish giants.

Cathro is one of several candidates being touted for the role at Rangers. Former Brentford boss Mark Warburton has been a strong favourite, though he may opt to take the vacant position at Sheffield Wednesday. Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes and Billy Davies have also been linked. Stuart McCall, the current manager, may yet keep a hold of the position, but the number of candidates linked to the job so far suggests he may not be the board’s first choice. (Scotsman, Daily Mail)

‘Walter Smith and David Weir a dream combination’

Barry Ferguson, the former Rangers captain, has suggested Rangers should seek out Walter Smith for a third spell managing the club as they consider a candidate to take the reins next season.

In a column for the Daily Record, the former Scotland skipper acknowledged misgivings some fans would have over appointing what might be perceived as a short-term solution – which is why Weir, another former club captain, should be groomed as his successor while occupying a No. 2 role.

He said: “The appointment of Walter, such a trusted figure, would allow the current board to forge ahead with their plans for rebuilding Rangers off the park, freeing them from the worry of knowing the football department is in the best possible hands.” (Daily Record)