Van Bronckhorst appointed Rangers manager

Rangers have appointed Giovanni van Bronckhorst as manager.

Van Bronckhorst has singed a three-and-a-half year deal, Sky Sports News has been told, taking him up until the summer of 2025.

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.

His first game in charge will be Thursday’s Europa League game against Sparta Prague.

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,” said Van Bronckhorst, who will be presented on Monday.

“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 club.

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

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Former Rangers forward Kenny Miller is delighted Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been named the club’s new manager and thinks it is an exciting time for the Scottish champions

Former Netherlands striker Roy Maakay will join van Bronckhorst at Rangers as one of his assistants. He previously worked with van Bronckhorst as a coach at Feyenoord.

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.

How Rangers got Gio back to Ibrox

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

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.”

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Dutch football expert Marcel van der Kraan says Feyenoord played great football when winning their first title in 18 years under Giovanni van Bronckhorst

What are Van Bronckhorst’s credentials?

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.

In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, the former Netherlands captain revealed how spending five months with the City group, studying Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s methods, helped shape his own philosophy and approach to coaching.

Gerrard: I completed Rangers journey

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A look back at Steven Gerrard’s career at Rangers which saw him lead the Ibrox club to the Scottish Premiership title after three years

Last season, Gerrard, who was appointed Rangers boss in 2018, helped the Glasgow side win a record-breaking 55th Scottish league title – their first top-flight title since 2011.

As he was announced Villa head coach, Gerrard expressed his gratitude to all at Rangers for the opportunity to manage “such an iconic football club” and said last season’s achievements “will always hold a special place in my heart”.

On Thursday at his first news conference as Villa head coach, Gerrard further explained why he left Ibrox.

“It was a difficult decision and one I’ve taken with a heavy heart,” he said.

“I’ve built some great relationships up at Rangers and it’s a club I’ve got immense respect for.

“I was given a remit three-and-a-half years ago and we went on a journey and completed that remit.

“Ten days ago the opportunity came to join another iconic club and I think it’s important to make sure that this press conference is about Aston Villa.

“It was an opportunity that I couldn’t let pass me by.”

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