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Preud'homme is waiting for 'huge club' Rangers to make an offer

 

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers have held talks with former Club Brugge and Standard Liege coach Michel Preud'homme about succeeding Pedro Caixinha.

Although Aberdeen boss Derek McInness is still the favourite for the job, Preud'homme's agent Ugi Canturk has spoken with Rangers chairman Dave King and says the former Belgium goalkeeper is ready to turn down his boyhood club Mechelen to make the move to Ibrox.

Canturk said: "We've had a nice conversation with Rangers and everything is open. Michel has been offered a job at Mechelen, but that is on hold.

"We have said that as long as there is no decision yet from Rangers, we don't want to block ourselves. Michel is honoured that Rangers would consider him because he sees them as a huge club.

"They have been down for a few years, but in Europe, Rangers are still a big club. So we'll wait to see what they decide. The talks were very open. Michel has made it clear to the club he wants to be considered. He wants the job so if they want him, he will do it."

Preud'homme won three Belgian titles with Standard and Mechelen and a Portuguese Cup with Benfica in a distinguished playing career which also brought him 58 caps for his country.

He moved into a back-room role as technical director with the latter and then twice coached Standard, leading them to the Pro League title in 2008.

He won domestic cups with Gent and Dutch side FC Twente, where he succeeded ex-England boss Steve McClaren, and then won further league titles with Al-Shabab in Saudi Arabia and Club Brugge back in his homeland.

Canturk continued: "Michel had taken a sabbatical from football after winning the Belgian title with Brugge.

"He has been very successful at his previous clubs, but he was ready for a break. He's now ready to come back.

"Mechelen are his club, he had eight years there and now they're in trouble. So that would be a decision of his heart. But for now, we're waiting on Rangers."

Former Manchester United and Holland manager Louis van Gaal has urged his national team to scupper any move by installing Preud'homme as the man to restore Holland's fading fortunes.

Van Gaal said: "In search of a new technical director, I would focus on the best coach - someone in their 40s perhaps and who would stay with the KNVB for 10 years.

"Michel Preud'homme has been a manager and has experience as a coach too. Maybe he could the foreigner we need for the job."

Gers defender Danny Wilson has, meanwhile, praised caretaker boss Graeme Murty for giving them the platform to perform after a turbulent week.

Murty stepped up for the second time this year after Pedro Caixinha was sacked in the wake of the Betfred Cup semi-final defeat by Motherwell and a home draw with Kilmarnock, and guided Rangers to a 3-1 victory over Hearts.

The under-20s coach made an instant change by recalling Kenny Miller and was rewarded by a double and an assist for Josh Windass from the 37-year-old forward.

Wilson said: "A lot of us have worked with him before so we knew what we were getting.

"He handles himself impeccably and he gives us the responsibility and the licence to go out and perform. I think that's what we did.

"We knew it would be difficult after the week we have had but that's the job we came to do and we went home happy."

Miller was not the only player earning a recall. Wilson made his first start of the season after falling behind Fabio Cardoso, Bruno Alves and Ross McCrorie in Caixinha's pecking order.

With the Portuguese pair unavailable, Wilson was another obvious choice.

The former Hearts player said: "It's difficult for anyone when you don't play because that's what you want to do. You train through the week and want to play at the weekend but I have been working hard to try to keep myself in the best shape I can.

"But that was my first start in six months so it has been difficult and that maybe showed towards the end of the game when I was starting to tire. I was just glad to be part of a winning performance."

Wilson admitted three Ladbrokes Premiership points at BT Murrayfield had made a huge difference to the squad's outlook.

"If you are winning everything, it makes it that wee bit easier and you all get along that wee bit more and you don't fall out with each other, not that we had been," he said.

"Everything seems better after a win and this was a big win for us, especially going behind and then coming back and showing the character that we did."

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