By Wayne Veysey

25th Mar, 2018 | 7:24am

Sky pundit: Rangers board "have been on their knees begging" 70-yr-old to take over as manager

By Richard Parks

Rangers chiefs have “been on their knees begging” for Walter Smith to return as manager, according to Davie Provan.

The Sky Sports pundit and former Celtic midfielder claimed in his Scottish Sun on Sunday column that the Ibrox board want the 70-year-old to return for a third spell at the helm.

Smith steered Rangers to 10 league titles, including seven in a row between 1990-91 and 1996-97 and a further three in his second spell between January 2007 and May 2011.

Smith was linked with a return to management as Scotland manager in February, but he withdrew his name from consideration after discussions with the Scottish FA.

“The most damning indictment of that job right now is that Walter Smith won’t take it,” Provan told the Scottish Sun on Sunday. “You can bet Gers directors have been on their knees begging Smith to return to the dugout.

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“Yet a Rangers icon — who recently expressed interest in the Scotland job — won’t return to the club he loves? What does that tell you?

“This is the guy who took a bang average Rangers squad to a European final ten years ago. If Smith thought there was half a chance of challenging Celtic he’d have thrown his lot in.”

Football Insider verdict:

Is the Rangers job the poisoned chalice that Provan claims, or a brilliant opportunity for a manager who can reignite the fortunes of the world’s most successful league club? Certainly, the club’s finances pale in comparison with those of Celtic and the gap can be bridged only by a return to the Champions League or a sustained European run. For Rangers to do that will require a top-notch operator working in tandem with a smart board able to find value in the shark-infested waters of the transfer market. A tough task, certainly, but not an impossible one.

In other Rangers news, the club must blow Celtic out of the water to sign the next Moussa Dembele.

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