Rangers target Southampton's Ross Wilson for director of football role

By Kenny MacintyreBBC Scotland
Ross Wilson during his time at Falkirk
Ross Wilson joined Southampton from Huddersfield Town

Rangers have identified Southampton director of scouting and recruitment Ross Wilson as their number one target for their director of football role.

BBC Scotland has learned that discussions have been held, but Wilson has much to consider before committing himself to the Ibrox club.

Rangers say they want to create this new role, as well as finding a new head coach, to replace Mark Warburton.

The Englishman left his role as team manager more than two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson would welcome a return to Ibrox after his resignation as Clyde manager on Sunday.

But there has been no contact between the former Scotland midfielder, whose side had gone 10 League Two games without a win, and his former club.

It is unlikely any appointment will be made by Rangers this week, which means caretaker manager Graeme Murty will be in charge for Wednesday's visit by St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.

Rangers caretaker Graeme Murty shares a joke during Monday training
Rangers caretaker Graeme Murty was in jovial mood during Monday training

Murty, who has presided over one win and two defeats, has backed the board's right to take their time over a long-term appointment.

"If we appoint quickly and get it wrong, it would be much more damaging," the club's under-20s coach said.

"So we have to be respectful of the board's wishes to go through their process, do their due diligence and get the right person in place.

"I've been told the process is ongoing, interviews are taking place and someone will be appointed. I don't know when it will be."

Murty has admitted he is not enjoying being thrust into the hotseat, although he is relishing the chance to gain experience.

"It's not about me, it's about the football club and the players," he said.

"I'm here to facilitate the players playing well, hopefully, and making sure they know what they need to do on a match day. I'm here fulfilling the role I was asked to do."

Barry Ferguson
Barry Ferguson resigned from Clyde after his side slipped out of the promotion play-off race

Rangers have slipped nine points behind second-placed Aberdeen after two successive league defeats and Murty said he would stand down if he did not think he could benefit the team.

"I'm content to look in the mirror and say that the practices we put on, the work that we're doing, is of a good standard, it's what the players need," he said.

"If I felt I wasn't being impactful to the players, I would feel more than comfortable going to the board and saying: 'You need to replace me'.

"As it happens, the board have been fantastically supportive. All they are asking me again is: 'Can we help you?'

"But I think, if you look at the Inverness game from the Dundee game, there was a definite impact, the players responded really, really well and there was an improvement in our performance levels.

"I reiterate, however, that we need to get points on the board to make sure that all people see that this is a positive and a step forward for the football club."

Following the midweek league match, Rangers host Hamilton Academical in a Scottish Cup quarter-final on Saturday then face Premiership leaders Celtic on 12 March.

Barry Ferguson is a guest of BBC Radio Scotland 810MW's Sportsound, starting at 18.30GMT on Monday 27 February.

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