As per one of the latest reports by The Telegraph, Scottish Premiership outfit, Rangers, are interested to secure the services of Northern Ireland’s manager, Michael O’Neill. Bookies have made O’Neill as the third favourite candidate apart from installing him as the favourite for the currently vacant post of Scotland’s manager.
The Gers are currently bereft of a permanent manager after the exit of Pedro Caixinha last month and it appears that the former Shamrock Rovers gaffer has found a place on the radar of Rangers.
Under the tutelage of O’Neill, Northern Ireland failed to secure a spot for themselves in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia after Switzerland progressed, thanks to the questionable award of a penalty kick to the latter in the first leg at Belfast. He has spent six years with his current employers and despite the fact that he is under contract to the Irish Football Association, he might be possessing the idea of plying his trade as a manager week in and week out in club-level football.
After the departure of Mark Warburton in the second half of last season, Caixinha was appointed to close the gap between Rangers and their arch-rivals, Celtic. However, the Portuguese failed to live up to the demands of the Glasgow-based outfit more often than not. Apart from losing all of his three Old Firm derbies as the manager, Caixinha’s side were eliminated from the Europa League by Luxembourg minnows, Progres Niederkorn in what was a shocking and embarrassing result for the club.
Under his tutelage, the Light Blues got knocked out of the League Cup by Motherwell in the semi-final and Rangers’ 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership fixture proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Caixinha.
While Graeme Murty has been discharging the tasks of the interim manager, the board is in hot pursuit of finding Caixinha’s heir. At this stroke of the hour, the Teddy Bears are placed at the 4th spot in the league table with 24 points to their name after 12 games.
It would make complete sense for Rangers to sign O’Neill, for he is a manager with a proven pedigree and experience. The 48-year-old’s credentials have been on the rise for quite some time now, for it was under his tutelage that Northern Ireland reached Euro 2016. However, keeping aside his spell with Brechin City as the manager, he lacks a substantial amount of experience of managing in Scottish football and that might be something to ponder upon by Rangers’ board.
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