Giovanni Van Bronckhorst confirmed as Rangers' new manager

BREAKING NEWS: Giovanni Van Bronckhorst confirmed as Rangers’ new manager following Steven Gerrard’s exit to Aston Villa

  • Rangers have confirmed the arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst as manager
  • The Dutchman replaces Steven Gerrard who joined Aston Villa earlier this month
  • Van Bronckhorst spent three years as a player at Ibrox before leaving in 2001
  • The 46-year-old won the 2017 Eredivisie title with Dutch giants Feyenoord

Rangers have confirmed the arrival of Giovanni Van Bronckhorst as the club’s new manager following Steven Gerrard’s exit to Aston Villa.

The Dutchman returns to Ibrox 20 years after leaving the Glasgow side as a player, with the 46-year-old picking up managerial experience at Feyenoord and the Chinese Super League.

 Van Bronckhorst won the Eredivisie with Dutch side Feyenoord in 2017 and is immediately faced with another title challenge at Rangers this season, with the Ibrox club currently four points ahead of rivals Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League. 

Giovanni van Bronckhorst has be confirmed as the new manager of Scottish giants Rangers

Van Bronckhorst returns to Ibrox after a 20-year spell away from the club in his playing days

Speaking about his appointment, Van Bronckhorst told the Rangers’ official website:  ‘I am absolutely delighted to be returning to Rangers as the club’s new manager.

‘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.’ 

An Ibrox midfielder between 1998 and 2001, winning five major trophies, the 46-year-old has been the leading candidate to fill the post ever since Gerrard quit this month to take over Aston Villa.

The Dutchman will be Steven Gerrard’s (above) Ibrox replacement after his exit to Aston Villa  

Van Bronckhorst and his advisor flew to London on Saturday for a meeting with Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson and managing director Stewart Robertson.

A club delegation then visited Amsterdam to continue talks on Tuesday, with contract details, his coaching staff and transfer strategy among the topics discussed. 

From the start of the process, he has made clear his desire to lead Rangers’ bid to secure back-to-back Premiership titles and gain the huge financial boost of almost certain Champions League qualification.

Rangers chairman Douglas Park added: ‘I am delighted to welcome Giovanni as our manager to begin a new era and build further on what has already been achieved at the club.

‘The team is in a good position on the park and, as a board, we will support both Giovanni and Ross Wilson to continue to make Rangers a success.

‘I wish Giovanni all the very best in his role and look forward to working closely alongside him.’

Van Bronckhorst won the 2017 Eredivisie at Feyenoord and now joins league leaders Rangers

Sporting director Ross Wilson added: ‘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.

‘Gio has been part of a long list of managers we have been tracking for a period of time to ensure we are always ready. When Steven intimated his decision last Wednesday, we immediately got to work on what was then a focused shortlist. We held initial talks within 48 hours and concluded our decision making within six days of the role becoming available.

‘We found agreement with Gio extremely quickly and we have enjoyed working with him on assembling the backroom team that will complement an already excellent support staff that we have built here at Rangers.’ 

Van Bronckhorst’s arrival at Rangers is subject to the receipt of a work permit, so it is unclear whether the Dutchman will be in the Gers dugout for Sunday’s League Cup semi-final against Hibernian.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona man spent one season at Chinese club Guangzhou in 2020

An interim management team of Jermain Defoe, B team coaches David McCallum and Brian Gilmour and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart have been leading preparations for the Hampden tie at the Auchenhowie training ground this week. 

Rangers then face a crucial Europa League visit from Sparta Prague next Thursday before a return to Premiership business against Livingston three days later. 

Van Bronckhorst won the 2017 Eredivisie title and two KNVB Cups during four seasons as Feyenoord manager. 

After stepping down from that job in 2019, he spent time studying Pep Guardiola’s methods at Manchester City before joining Chinese club Guangzhou R&F in January 2020.

He left after one 11th-placed season due to the impact of the Covid pandemic and returned to the Netherlands to be with his family. 

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