Ibrox deal close

Van Bronckhorst agrees to replace Gerrard at Rangers

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Target: Van Bronckhorst (pic: SNS Group)

Rangers have confirmed Giovanni Van Bronckhorst as the club’s new manager following Steven Gerrard’s departure to Aston Villa.

The 46-year-old Dutch international returns to Ibrox 20 years after leaving the club.

He told the Rangers’ official website:  “I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Rangers as the club’s new manager.”

Rangers chairman Douglas Park said: ‘The team is in a good position on the park and, as a board, we will support both Giovanni and Ross Wilson to continue to make Rangers a success.”

Van Bronckhorst won the Eredivisie with Dutch side Feyenoord in 2017 and is immediately faced with another title challenge at Rangers this season, with the Ibrox club currently four points ahead of rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League. 

He held initial talks on Saturday with sporting director Ross Wilson and managing director Stewart Robertson followed by further discussions with club representatives in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

He played for Rangers between 1998-2001, winning five trophies including two league championships and left to join Arsenal.

As manager of Feyenoord, he won their first Eredivisie title for 18 years in 2017. He joined Chinese club Guangzhou R&F in January 2020 but left after one season to return home to the Netherlands amid the pandemic.

Rangers announced on Monday that an interim management team of Jermain Defoe, B team coaches David McCallum and Brian Gilmour and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart would have responsibility for first-team affairs while the recruitment process was underway.

Barring any last-minute hiccups, the Scottish champions are now set to have the man they want at the helm as they prepare to face two crucial games in the coming week.

They return to action after the international break in the Scottish League Cup semi-final against Hibs at Hampden Park on Sunday before hosting Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday.

It was unclear whether the Dutchman will be in the dugout for the Hibernian tie.

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