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Former Barcelona star appointed as Gerrard’s successor at Rangers

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Giovanni Van Bronckhorst takes charge at the Scottish side after Steven Gerrard’s move back to Premier League.

Steven Gerrard ended his three-year spell at Rangers to join Aston Villa last week. The club immediately started their search for a successor, and they have now confirmed their next gaffer.

Former Rangers and Barcelona star Giovanni Van Bronckhorst will replace Gerrard as Rangers’ new manager.

“Giovanni Van Bronckhorst has today agreed to become the 17th permanent manager of Rangers Football Club.” the official Rangers announcement reads.

The Dutchman has previously coached Feyenoord and the Chinese Super League side Guangzhou City. He won Eredivisie with the Dutch side in 2017 and now takes over Rangers in a title-defending campaign.

Rangers won their first Scottish Premiership title in ten years last season, ending Celtic’s long-lasting domestic dominance. However, with Gerrard departing, Celtic will do their best to reclaim the trophy this season. 

What has been said?

The club’s sporting director Ross Wilson said: “I am delighted to welcome Gio back to Rangers. 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.”

As a player, Van Bronckhorst won the Champions League trophy with Barcelona in 2006 in addition to two La Liga titles in 2005 and 2006. 

“Gio has been part of a long list of managers we have been tracking for a period of time to ensure we are always ready. When Steven intimated his decision last Wednesday, we immediately got to work on what was then a focused shortlist. We held initial talks within 48 hours and concluded our decision making within six days of the role becoming available.

“We found agreement with Gio extremely quickly and we have enjoyed working with him on assembling the backroom team that will complement an already excellent support staff that we have built here at Rangers.”

What is next for Rangers?

Van Bronckhorst will make his Rangers managerial debut against Hibernian on Sunday. The Gers are leading the league table with 30 points, four ahead of their arch-rivals Celtic.

The Ibrox side will then take on Sparta Praga in a Europa League game on Thursday.

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