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With the betting market now settling down, we start to get a picture of who is in with a genuine shout of landing the Rangers job.
Gone, at least for now, are the days of regular Champions League football and the distinct possibility of domestic trebles but only those looking on bitterly would disagree that the job of ‘the manager of Rangers FC’ is still a plum job and desired by many.
Michel Preudhomme, Alex McLeish, Graeme Murty and Alan Pardew have all been given plenty of sports pages and air time over the last few days. However, it is the boss of Celtic’s most recent challengers in Scotland who is a clear favourite for now and remains the most likely target for the Rangers board – Derek McInnes.
The Aberdeen manager was less than happy in seeing his captain Ryan Jack pin his colours to the Rangers mast before last season had even finished, dropping him and taking away his captaincy before their cup final appearance. But they had previously enjoyed a very good and reasonably successful working relationship, which could be rekindled at Ibrox.
Jack has become a key player at Rangers since leaving Aberdeen and so if all were to be forgiven between the two influential people, then they could actually be a formidable pairing in Glasgow.
McInnes was wanted by Sunderland in pre-season after David Moyes left the Black Cats, though he decided not to take the job in England. Despite losing Jack to Rangers and Jonny Hayes to Celtic, Aberdeen carried on as they were and have looked like the biggest domestic challenge to Celtic this term, leading to most commentators thinking that he would not want to leave Pittodrie.
The Dons’ 3-0 home loss to the Parkhead side showed how big the gap still is and from McInnes’ point of view, I think he knows that in the longer term, if he is to win the Scottish Premiership, it is more likely to happen for him in Glasgow.
Given their mass of support, huge match day crowds, much higher revenue and glittering history, it is clear to all but fantasists that if McInnes is to achieve what he deserves to achieve in Scotland, then frankly it is only likely to happen if he leaves Aberdeen and joins Rangers. He has the quality, he is proven in the division and would be just the sort of organised, calming figure Rangers need right now.