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In their search for a competent replacement for departed Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha, Rangers may well have had a little slice of luck.
As it transpires, the Ibrox club may well be able to land their top target(s), Aberdeen’s managerial partnership of Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty, for as little as £800,000 in compensation.
The figure comes from reports showing that this is the amount Sunderland had agreed to pay Aberdeen in the summer for McInnes’ services before the Dons boss turned down the offer from the Black Cats, leaving the hapless Simon Grayson to take over the reins from David Moyes at the Stadium of Light.
After making that decision, McInnes signed an improved contract at Pittodrie, which keeps him at the club until 2020, though the deal contains the same compensation fee or release clause.
Although it’s common knowledge that Rangers want McInnes to take over and are more than willing to meet the £800,000 demand, reports in Scotland say there has been no direct contact yet between the hierarchy in Glasgow and Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne, let alone McInnes and Docherty.
Rangers’ director of football Mark Allen has been given the job of drafting together a shortlist of top targets to replace Caxinha, before presenting this list to the board. For now at least, caretaker manager Graeme Murty remains in charge of team affairs and will be in the dugout until a permanent manager is announced.
The stand-in boss will now have influential former Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Jack available after he had a red card rescinded for the second time this season. His presence will be vital for Murty who would love to go on a winning run in order to enhance his own chances of landing the top job permanently.
Jack was given a reprieve following his clash with Kilmarnock’s former Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot by an SFA fast-track panel and is now free to line up for Murty.
Murty can no doubt do a decent job, but having classed Caixinha as a failed experiment, Rangers could really do without another chance being taken. An experienced, competent manager with proven credentials is now desried and McInnes certainly fits the bill.
Even Rangers, and even in this league, would happily pay £800,000 for a player if they thought he could improve their squad. So to do so for a manager and his assistant should not even be in question. To be fair, I doubt it is.