By Harry Sykes
Davie Provan is convinced that Derek McInnes has the “best credentials” to become the new Rangers manager.
But the Celtic legend warned that Aberdeen boss McInnes would be “insane” to put his reputation on the line against all-conquering Brendan Rodgers.
Caretaker manager Graeme Murty, McInnes, ex-Rangers boss Alex McLeish, Billy Davies and Alan Pardew are among the frontrunners to take over the post that was vacated when the Scottish giants parted company with Mark Warburton 10 days ago.
The Rangers board claim they are sifting through candidates and preparing for the interview stage before deciding on the appointment.
Meanwhile, the team is in freefall and continued their wretched run on Sunday with a 2-1 defeat against Dundee at Dens Park.
“Still not certain of clinching a Europa League place, Gers need an impact manager to put 30,000 volts through that dressing room,” wrote Provan in his weekly Scottish Sun column.
“Both currently out of work, Alex McLeish and Billy Davies would be up for that.
“In the longer term? Rangers punters shouldn’t waste their cash backing Frank de Boer. In their current state Rangers would be a hard sell for a man whose last job was in Serie A with Inter Milan.
“That leaves the guy with the best credentials — Derek McInnes. Del stopped short of ruling himself out when asked about the Rangers job and he ticks all the boxes.
“He knows the territory after five years at Ibrox under Walter Smith. His affection for the club would go down well with Gers fans.
“But here’s the rub. Right now the Old Firm are the biggest mismatch since Wayne Biggins was running out for Lou Macari.
“After failure at Bristol City, McInnes has painstakingly rebuilt his reputation at Pittodrie. He’d be insane to put it on the line against Brendan Rodgers.”
McInnes has been the manager of Aberdeen for the last four years after succeeding Craig Brown in March 2013.
The former journeyman midfielder cut his managerial teeth at St Johnstone before a difficult 15-month spell at Bristol City that ended with the sack.
McInnes, who is contracted to Aberdeen until the summer of 2019, has steered the club to second in this season’s league, six points ahead of Rangers.
The Ibrox club are currently well in the shadow of bitter rivals Celtic, who are romping off with the title after opening up a monumental 30-point gap at the top.