By Alex Stevens
Alan Pardew has been installed as the second favourite to become the next Rangers manager following a tumble in his odds.
The experienced Premier League manager has leapfrogged the likes of Barry Ferguson, Billy Davies, Alex Neil, Gary Rowett, Derek McInnes and Martin Jol in the betting to replace Mark Warburton, who left in acrimonious circumstances 17 days ago.
Bookmakers Sky Bet price Pardew at 7/2 to take over at Ibrox after his odds were slashed over the last 24 hours.
Ex-Rangers manager McLeish is the favourite at 2/1, ahead of former Ibrox midfielder Ferguson (5/1), ex-Birmingham boss Rowett (7/1), Norwich manager Neil (10/1) and ex-Nottingham Forest and Derby manager Davies (12/1).
Pardew has been out of work since he was sacked by Crystal Palace in December after one win in 11 matches had left the team 17th in the Premier League and facing a relegation battle.
The 55-year-old has spent most of his 19-year managerial career in the English top flight, with spells at Newcastle of four years and West Ham of three years as well as periods at Southampton, Charlton and Reading in the lower leagues.
Pardew is proven in the Premier League and once led Newcastle to an against-the-odds fifth placed finish.
Rangers are intensifying their search for a new manager while also attempting to bring in a director of football as part of a major management restructure.
Former Reading defender Murty has overseen three matches from the dugout, Scottish Premiership defeats to Dundee and Inverness, and a 2-1 Scottish Cup triumph over second-tier outfit Greenock Morton.
Murty was at the helm on Friday night when Rangers suffered an embarrassing 2-1 loss to relegation strugglers Inverness.
The Scottish giants, who have slipped to third in the league, 33 points behind runaway leaders Celtic, are next in action on Wednesday night when they host St Johnstone in the league at Ibrox.