By Alex Stevens
Pedro Caixinha has admitted that Rangers have not opened contract talks with veteran Kenny Miller.
The striker, 37, is only contracted to the Scottish giants until the end of the season but has insisted he wants to play on for one more season.
Caixinha has said he values Miller’s experience and leadership qualities but has given little away on whether the former Scotland international will be at Ibrox beyond this summer.
The new Rangers manager urged fans not to read too much into the lack of progress with the talks of either Miller or his fellow veteran Clint Hill, 38, who is also out of contract in June.
“If players’ contracts are either about to end – like Clint Hill or Kenny, by the end of May – or whether they have longer contracts, they all finish under my supervision, so just because I haven’t spoken to Kenny or anyone else, it means nothing regarding their continuation here or having their contracts ended,” Caixinha said, as quoted by the Telegraph.
“That’s all I can tell you now. Kenny’s doing great and he’s a player I like to have in the squad because I’m not playing and I can’t be on the bench with a remote control so you need to have coaches [on the pitch] as well, players with that experience and understanding of the game.
“I am the one who chooses the time. Not him, not you, not anyone. When you are taking decisions, you are not just affecting the footballer, you are affecting everything. When I have a decision and that decision is not to continue, they need to know that from me directly.”
Tellingly, Miller has been omitted from the Rangers team for their Scottish Premiership clash against Kilmarnock on Wednesday night.
Caixinha took the unusual decision of naming his starting XI 36 hours before kick-off as he explained he has axed the former Celtic man from his starting XI for the trip to Rugby Park and replaced him with Joe Garner.
The former Preston forward, who scored the equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Motherwell, will partner Martyn Waghorn up front.
Miller has continued to defy the years this season by being a mainstay of the team and has a creditable record of nine goals and six assists from 38 matches in all competitions this season.
Rangers have lost ground in the race to finish second over the last week, following two consecutive Aberdeen victories, and start the game at Rugby Park on Wednesday 13 points adrift of Derek McInnes’ side.