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Ibrox snub

McInnes rejects Rangers to stay at Aberdeen

Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes is staying as manager of Aberdeen after turning down the chance to join Rangers (pic: SNS Group).

Rangers’ search for a new manager will continue after No. 1 target Derek McInnes reaffirmed his desire to remain in charge of Aberdeen.

The Ibrox club approached the Dons on Tuesday seeking permission to speak to their former midfielder and although Pittodrie chairman Stewart Milne refused that request, it was widely expected that it was only a matter of time before McInnes was unveiled as Pedro Caixinha’s successor.

The Dons boss was not present at training for the last couple of days, and Under-20s coach Paul Sheerin took today’s press conference ahead of the league clash with Dundee at Dens Park tomorrow evening.

McInnes’ absence heightened expectations that he was Ibrox-bound but in another twist in the long-running saga, Aberdeen announced their manager is staying in the Granite City to build on the success he has already achieved.

“As everyone is aware, Rangers made an approach on Tuesday evening and they were refused permission to speak with Derek,” said Milne.

“I spoke with Derek who felt it was a major thing to be considered for the managerial position at a club such as Rangers and we agreed that he could have some time to think about the approach and talk it through with his family.

“Over the past 48 hours, I have been in constant dialogue with Derek and having weighed up the opportunity, he has taken the decision to remain as Aberdeen FC manager.

“Derek has also been maintaining close contact with Paul Sheerin ahead of tomorrow’s game at Dundee.

“Derek appreciates all that he has at this club and feels he wants to keep driving the club forward. This is where he wants to be and he feels he very much has unfinished business with Aberdeen FC.

“I personally am delighted that Derek has decided to remain with the club and everyone looks forward to putting the speculation of the past few weeks behind us and concentrating on matters on the park starting at Dens tomorrow evening.”

McInnes, who steered the Dons to their first major trophy in 19 years with a League Cup triumph in 2014, said: “I’ve had a lot to consider over the last couple of days and I appreciate it’s been a testing time for everyone, including my family, and I’m pleased to be now totally focusing on purely on on-the-field matters.”

The decision of McInnes will come as a hammer blow to Rangers, who have been without a manager for six weeks.

The former midfielder was seen by Ibrox chiefs as the man to rebuild the club and close the gap on Celtic and they are understood to have been willing to meet the £1million compensation required to secure McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty.

The focus will now quickly turn elsewhere, with Alex McLeish among those heavily favoured for a return to the Ibrox hot seat.

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