Rangers supporters in the Transfer Tavern have spent the last few weeks discussing and speculating upon who their new manager might be following the departure of Pedro Caixinha at the end of October.
The Portuguese was relieved of his duties a day after his side’s 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock on October 25, which came just days after the Gers were beaten in the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup by Motherwell at Hampden Park. Yet since then caretaker manager Graeme Murty has led the side to two wins out of two to cut the gap on leaders Celtic to just six points, as well as give the new manager the perfect foundations from which to build when he does indeed take over at Ibrox.
Thus, there has been much discussion in the Tavern in recent weeks among our resident Rangers fans, and there may be even more to come in the near future if a recent tweet from Sky Sports News is anything to go by.
And that’s because they report that Northern Ireland are planning to offer manager Michael O’Neill improved terms to remain as the national team’s manager, just days after he was linked with the vacant post at Ibrox.
The 48-year-old has done a tremendous job in turning around the fortunes of Northern Ireland since taking over from Nigel Worthington back in 2011, to the point whereby he led them to their first major tournament in 30 years by reaching the European Championship finals in France last year.
However, O’Neill was unable to guide the country to the 2018 World Cup after falling to Switzerland in a two-legged play-off last week, and as such his future as Northern Ireland manager has attracted much speculation, which has in turn led to speculation linking him with the Rangers job.
Yet the Gers hierarchy may have suffered a blow in their pursuit of O’Neill, as Northern Ireland are reportedly readying a new contract for the 48-year-old to remain as the national team manager, and this significant development could ultimately lead to further disappointment for Rangers in pursuit of their new boss.
Landlord’s verdict: Michael O’Neill has done an outstanding job as Northern Ireland manager, and their two-legged defeat to Switzerland earlier this week should not detract from a wonderful job he has done in the last six years.
But, as seems inevitable after a failed qualifying campaign, the 48-year-old’s future as the national team manager is in doubt, although Northern Ireland are reportedly readying a new contract offer to fend off reported interest from Scottish giants Rangers, who earlier this week were reportedly after the former Hibernian midfielder.
Thus, much will depend on whether O’Neill wants to carry on as Northern Ireland manager or whether he wants to dip back into club management, but ultimately it appears that Rangers remain a way away from naming their new boss.
Rangers fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!