Saturday 15 December 2018

Steven Gerrard agrees to become new Rangers manager - once outstanding issues are resolved

Steven Gerrard has been backed to take over at Rangers
Steven Gerrard has been backed to take over at Rangers

Roddy Forsyth

Steven Gerrard will be the next Rangers manager, providing three issues – so far unspecified – are resolved between the former England and Liverpool midfielder and the Ibrox board.

The Sunday Telegraph reports, however, that spending on players is not one of the outstanding matters and that Gerrard has been assured that he can make a case-by-case argument for cash to be released for preferred transfer targets.

The same arrangement permitted Mark Warburton to sign Joey Barton on exceptional terms and also for Pedro Caixinha, during his brief reign, to bring Carlos Pena and Bruno Alves to Ibrox for wages that were cited as necessary to add exceptional strength to the playing squad.

Gary McAllister, the former Leeds United, Liverpool and Scotland midfielder – who managed Coventry City, Leeds and, in a caretaker capacity, Aston Villa – will move to Ibrox as Gerrard’s assistant if the remaining issues are settled. The agreement in principle with Gerrard is a further blow to Graeme Murty, now in his second spell as interim Rangers manager.

On Sunday, Murty leads Rangers into the cauldron of an Old Firm derby at Parkhead, in which a Celtic win will assure the Scottish champions of a seventh successive Scottish title.

Murty, who had been told by the Rangers board that he would be in charge until the end of the season and would be considered for a longer-term appointment on merit, declared defiantly on Friday that if he saw the team to second place in the Scottish Premiership he would have fulfilled his job remit.

Aberdeen’s home win against Hearts on Friday pushed Rangers into third place, a situation not likely to be altered on Sunday. Moreover, Rangers’ pursuit of Gerrard has effectively put Murty on notice ahead of a supercharged Old Firm derby, only two weeks after Celtic crushed their arch-foes in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.

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