Rangers next manager: New favourite displaces Kevin Muscat as ex-Gers duo name preferred candidates

Pascal Jansen, head coach of AZ Alkmaar, is the new favourite for the Rangers vacancy. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Pascal Jansen, head coach of AZ Alkmaar, is the new favourite for the Rangers vacancy. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Beale was sacked following the 3-1 defeat to Aberdeen at the weekend which has left Rangers seven points behind arch-rivals Celtic after losing three of their opening seven matches in the Scottish Premiership.

A 7-3 aggregate defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League play-off was also a major setback while a number of Beale's summer signings have failed to hit the ground running.

The Rangers board now face a crucial decision over who his successor will be with Steven Davis set to lead an interim management team into the next two fixtures prior to the international break.

Davis will be in charge of the Europa League trip to Cyprus to face Aris Limassol on Thursday as well as the league match in Paisley against an unbeaten St Mirren on Sunday.

Rangers will then in all likelihood look to make an permanent appointment ahead of their return to domestic action for the league match against Hibs at Ibrox on Saturday, October 21.

A number of names have already been linked with the post but a new favourite has moved to the front of queue with the bookmakers, displacing previous incumbent Kevin Muscat, the former Rangers defender.

Muscat is currently in charge of Yokohama F Marinos, where he replaced former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou at the helm of the club following his move to Parkhead in 2021.

Postecoglou's former assistant followed in his predecessor's footsteps by leading the club to the J-League title last year and his previous connections to Ibrox saw him shoot to the top of the betting market following Beale’s dismissal.

However, he has been knocked off the top of the list by AZ Alkmaar boss Pascal Jansen who guided the Dutch club to the Europa Conference League semi-finals last season and has them sitting second in the Eredivisie, two points behind leaders PSV, after the opening seven games this term.

According to reports, Jansen would be interested in taking over at Rangers and Betfair have installed him as the new 2/1 favourite for the Ibrox hotseat with Muscat drifting to 11/4 and Davis the third favourite to land the gig on a permanent basis at 11/2.

Other names in the frame include Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes, Kjetil Knutsen - a three-time Norwegian title winner with Bodo/Glimt, ex-Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, and former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller reckons McInnes would given serious consideration if Rangers opt to go down the Scottish route.

"In our game, if you're looking not too far from home, Derek McInnes definitely falls into the category alongside Stephen Robinson, guys that have actually done good jobs with multiple teams," he said.

"He was at Aberdeen for a number of years, they were second, third, they was European football, there has been cup finals and trophies.

"Listen, we've talked about it before, Derek ticks the boxes of the Rangers connection, he's been a player through a wonderful era that brought a lot of success to the football club.

"So, if the Rangers board are looking to seriously consider someone close to home then obviously Derek's name is going to be right at the top of that list."

Another former Gers star-turned-pundit, Neil McCann, played alongside Muscat and expects the 50-year-old to be interviewed for the job.

"He's not new into management, he's not a rookie, he's got titles under his belt," McCann said. "As a character, I think he would be a brilliant acquisition. As a presence, he gets Scottish football. He understands the league, he understands the intensity, the rivalry, how to get the job done.

"Is he able to lead? I think he is because personality-wise it fits. He'll go through the process, I'd be surprised if he didn't go through the process and get interviewed."