Rangers appoint Giovanni van Bronckhorst as new manager

Rangers have appointed Giovanni van Bronckhorst as their new manager.

The former Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona defender returns to Ibrox, subject to receipt of a work permit, to succeed Steven Gerrard, who left to manage Premier League side Aston Villa.

Rangers are four points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, still in the hunt for qualification from their Europa League group and face Hibernian in the League Cup semi-final on Sunday.

“I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Rangers as the club’s new manager,” he said.

“I feel so lucky to be going to work with a squad which is in a great position on all fronts and largely has that experience of being winners.

“I look forward to carrying on and enhancing the work that has been done already alongside Ross Wilson and the board of the club, and I’m grateful for the chance to work again at this huge football club.

“I cannot wait to meet the club’s incredible supporters again and begin this new era for us all.”

Following Sunday’s clash against Hibs, Rangers face Sparta Prague in the Europa League at Ibrox before key away matches in the league at Livingston and Hibernian.

Van Bronckhorst was on a long list of candidates Rangers have been tracking over a long period of time, says sporting director Ross Wilson.

Van Bronckhorst enjoyed a 60% win rate at Feyenoord.

It meant Rangers were able to act swiftly, deciding on the new manager within six days of Gerrard’s exit.

The Scottish Premiership champions’ key goal was to make the right appointment for the future of the club, with Champions League qualification all but guaranteed if they retain their title this season.

“I am delighted to welcome Gio back to Rangers,” said Wilson. “He was respected throughout Europe as a player and has already shown why he has that same respect as a coach.

“Gio has already shown himself to be a winner, he knows the club, he knows the quality of the squad and is absolutely aligned with our approach and mindset.

“Outside of the formal discussions, Gio and I have already had numerous other informal conversations and I can see how excited he is. I am looking forward to introducing him to the squad soon.”

The Dutchman played for Rangers between 1998 and 2001, winning five trophies, including two league titles, before spells at some of Europe’s elite clubs such as Arsenal and Barcelona.

After hanging up his boots at Feyenoord in 2010, the 46-year-old went on to join the coaching set-up under Ronald Koeman at the Dutch club, before taking full control in 2015.

He led Feyenoord to KNVB Cup success in his first full season in charge, before sealing the Eredivisie title the year after – the club’s first in 18 years.

Van Bronckhorst went on to join Chinese Super League club Guangzhou City, where, after finishing 11th, he quit to return to his family.

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