Steven Gerrard is close to being confirmed as the new Rangers manager after further positive talks yesterday.
The Liverpool under-18s coach returned from working for BT Sport at the AS Roma v Liverpool Champions League semi-final and is understood to be on the brink of accepting an offer to take over at Ibrox.
Gerrard is expected to bring former Scotland skipper Gary McAllister as his No 2. The details could be finalised before Rangers’ next game, against Kilmarnock at Ibrox on Saturday.
Gerrard confirmed on Tuesday he was in talks with the Rangers hierarchy. Asked about reports he was in negotiations with the Ibrox club by Gary Linker on BT Sport, Gerrard said he had held initial “positive talks” and these would be resumed on his return from Italy.
It was reported he was seeking financial assurances from Rangers and owner Dave King, who is currently locked in a dispute with the Takeover Panel after failing to meet the deadline for making an £11m offer for the bulk of the club’s shares.
Rangers were further rocked on Wednesday by the resignation of directors Paul Murray and Barry Scott. But with King and new deputy chairman Douglas Park taking a more active role in negotiations it seems Gerrard has been satisfied with what he has heard. Similarly, Rangers have been convinced Gerrard is committed to taking up the challenge of reviving the Ibrox club’s fortunes at a time of Celtic dominance.
While Rangers are now confident they have persuaded their top target to leave his current post with Liverpool he would not be unveiled until after the end of the season.
Rangers are desperate to claim second spot in the league and want to avoid such a major distraction. They are currently sitting in third place, level on points with fourth placed Hibs. Aberdeen lie three points ahead in second place.
The Ibrox club are hosting a pre-match press conference this afternoon at the Rangers training centre prior to tomorrow’s league clash with Kilmarnock. Assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl and first-team coach Jonatan Johansson will take charge of this and Rangers’ last two fixtures, against Aberdeen and Hibs.
Today will be the first time someone from the first-team coaching staff will have spoken in public since before last Sunday’s 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Celtic. The result combined with the manner of the performance meant the Ibrox board felt it was no longer tenable to leave manager Graeme Murty in charge, even so close to the end of the season.
Murty did not attend the post-match press conference at Celtic Park and neither was any Rangers player allowed to speak. Murty was relieved of his duties on Tuesday morning and is considering whether to return to his previous post as the club’s head development squad coach.