Rangers on verge of appointing Giovanni van Bronckhorst as new manager but Ibrox youngster could be set for January exit

Rangers are on the verge of unveiling number one candidate Giovanni van Bronckhorst as their new manager after talks neared completion last night.

The former Dutch international is set to be confirmed as Steven Gerrard’s successor, while discussions are ongoing with regards to the appointment of van Bronckhorst’s backroom staff.

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The 46-year-old, who played for the Ibrox club between 1998 and 2001, had previously admitted it would be a “huge honour” to manage one of his former clubs.

It is believed his representatives contacted the Light Blues board in the immediate aftermath of Steven Gerrard’s exit to express an interest in the job, which led the club to put his name towards the top of their list of possible candidates.

Van Bronckhorst became a fans favourite during his three-year stay in Glasgow and GlasgowWorld revealed he jetted into London to hold face-to-face talks with Sporting Director Ross Wilson, who has been leading negotiations, last week.

Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson. Picture: SNS

It is understood those discussions went well and a small delegation of Rangers hierarchy flew out to Amsterdam on Tuesday to hold a second round of talks and finalise a deal for Van Bronckhorst to take over the reins.

Sources close to the deal confirmed an agreement is close to being signed with an announcement expected shortly.

Van Bronckhorst enjoyed an illustrious playing career before stepping into coaching with Feyenoord in 2011, working alongside newly appointed manager Ronald Koeman.

He landed his first managerial role with the Dutch giants in March 2015, guiding the club to KNVB Cup final success in his first season in charge before clinching Feyenoord’s first Eredivisie title in 18 years the following season.

He left in January 2019 to develop his coaching credentials at Manchester City before signing a deal with Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou City.

Van Bronckhorst’s time in Asia lasted just 11 months after opting to leave his post by mutual consent due to family reasons.

Meanwhile, Rangers youngster Stephen Kelly has emerged as a January target for a number of Scottish and English clubs, according to the Daily Record.

The midfielder is thought to have impressed a host of scouts during Scotland Under-21s fixture against Belgium at Tannadice earlier this week.

Stephen Kelly showed his development at Rangers, Ayr and Ross County, against Brighton and Real Madrid (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

There was strong interest in the 21-year-old during the summer transfer window but the Light Blues decided they wanted Kelly to remain at Ibrox as part of Steven Gerrard’s first-team squad.

However, Kelly has struggled for game time this season, having made just two appearances against Dunfermline in the Premier Sports Cup and against Alashkert in the Europa League.

Kelly, who had successful loan spells at Ayr United two years ago and Ross County last season, is under contract until the summer of 2023.

But it remains to be seen what the implications of Gerrard’s departure for Aston Villa are for the home-grown talent.