Next Rangers manager: Five viable candidates emerge and talks planned this week as Michael Beale's credentials strongly endorsed

Michael Beale is the early favourite to become the next manager of Rangers after the club parted company with Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

The Ibrox outfit decided to sack the Dutchman just a year into his tenure after a run of poor performances and results left Rangers nine points behind leaders Celtic in the cinch Premiership. The board met over the weekend on the back of discussions with Van Bronckhorst and the club made an announcement on Monday morning that he had been removed from his position. His coaching staff of Roy Makaay, Dave Vos, Arno Philiips and Yori Bosschaart are also expected to depart Govan in exits that will cost Rangers upwards of £4million in compensation. However, the club’s hierarchy believe that it is a price worth paying after the majority of supporters turned against Van Bronckhorst, whose last match was a 1-1 league draw with St Mirren on November 12.

Rangers chairman Douglas Park said: “I want to thank Gio for the hard work he has put in over the last 12 months and, especially, the achievements of taking the club to the Europa League final and winning the Scottish Cup last season. Unfortunately, recent results have not met neither our nor Gio’s expectations, and we have taken this difficult decision today. Everyone at Rangers wishes Gio every success in the future.”

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Rangers have already begun the search for the 47-year-old’s successor and are expected to hold talks with candidates this week, with Beale – currently in charge of Queens Park Rangers in the Skybet Championship – the frontrunner at this stage. The Englishman was part of Steven Gerrard’s coaching staff before the ex-Liverpool man left Ibrox for Aston Villa just 13 months ago and is widely regarded as one of the key tacticians and components in the club’s success, culminating in winning the league in the 2020/21 campaign. Beale recently turned down the chance to talk to Wolves after the English Premier League side formally approached QPR and is regarded as one of the country’s up-and-coming coaches.

Michael Beale, a former Rangers coach who is currently at QPR, is the favourite to be the next Ibrox manager after the sacking of Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
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Other names linked with the Rangers vacancy include Gerrard himself, who is out of football management following his own dismissal by the Villians last month, ex-Burnley boss Sean Dyche, former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and Swiss coach Gerardo Seoane, who recently left Bayer Leverkusen in the German Bundesliga. Former Rangers defender Kevin Muscat is also ranked highly among the potential candidates. The Australian previously worked under Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou and also replaced him in the hotseat at both Melbourne Victory and Yokohama F Marinos, where he is currently posted.

Beale, however, currently tops the bookmakers’ charts at 4/6 and former Rangers striker feels the 42-year-old is one of the standout options to succeed Van Bronckhorst. “There’s loads of names that spring to mind, you’ve got the likes of Sean Dyche who’s got connections to [Rangers sporting director] Ross Wilson, the same with Ralph Hasenhuttl,” Miller said. “One for me that would be right at the top of the list would be Michael Beale. His name’s been bandied about over the last month while Rangers have been toiling.

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“I think he fits, he knows the club, he knows the players. There would be no surprises with him walking back into the building in terms of the demands and the expectations of the football club and he’s started off his own journey as a manager pretty well as well so I think he’d be right at the top of the list.”

Miller acknowledged his former Rangers team-mate Van Bronckhorst had to deal with difficult circumstances but he had no arguments with the decision to sack him. “The injuries to some key players, particularly Tom Lawrence and Connor Goldson, are huge,” he added. “Particularly Goldson, when you see the Rangers defence at the moment. They’ve been giving up goals, it’s been a really inexperienced centre-back pairing so he’s been a big loss. I feel the recruitment done in the summer has not really come to fruition as yet.

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Gerardo Seoane, previously of Bayer Leverkusen, has also been linked with role.

“Maybe there’s a bit of development required in these signings in terms of settling into a new club, in a new city, where there are a lot of demands put on you. But ultimately the results have cost Gio. The fact they’re sitting nine points behind Celtic after 15 games doesn’t make good reading. Yes, there are circumstances that have not helped Gio but I think it may be the right decision going forward.”