Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is under increasing pressure after the club’s recent poor run of form, and there is a very familiar face lined up as a potential replacement.
The Gers have dropped points in three of their last five outings in the league, while also recently crashing out of the Champions League after failing to gain a single point in the competition.
This leaves Van Bronckhorst’s side nine points adrift from bitter rivals Celtic, leading to growing speculation that his days at Ibrox may be numbered.
The Dutchman hasn’t exactly had an easy ride though. In his first transfer window, Van Bronckhorst was only afforded £14million to spend as he was forced to bite the bullet in the transfer market to cover the costs of Steven Gerrard’s title-winning season in 2020/21.
Van Bronckhorst has also been faced with multiple injuries to key players this season, such as Ianis Hagi, Filip Helander, John Souttar and Connor Goldson, who are all currently unavailable.
These issues seem to be buying the Dutchman some time to recover at Rangers, but the Ibrox faithful’s patience is quickly wearing thin as Celtic start to run away with the title race.
A comeback for a familiar face?
QPR boss Michael Beale is certainly no stranger to Rangers, having been Gerrard’s assistant during the 2020/21 title-winning campaign.
Pundits such as Alan Hutton have suggested Rangers should axe Van Bronckhorst and reunite with their former coach.
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton said: “I think it could [happen]. I think there is a possibility there.
“Rangers is somewhere he knows, he knows most of the players. He has been used to that winning mentality when he has been there so I think it is something he would think long and hard about.
“It is maybe worth that change especially when you think of the European adventures. So I think it is something he would definitely seriously think about.“
Beale has already been on the radar of several Premier League clubs since joining QPR as manager in June and recently turned down the opportunity to replace Bruno Lage at Wolverhampton Wanderers. TEAMtalk were able to exclusively reveal the two reasons that saw him decline the role.
A manager truly in demand… could the lure of a return to Ibrox be too much to resist for the 42-year-old coach?
Is Beale ready to leave Loftus Road?
However, the question arises that after just a short stint with QPR, would he be willing to return to Rangers so quickly?
When discussing his potential departure with the Daily Telegraph, he said: “It would be a kick in the nuts to the owners if after just three months I was off and leaving. I don’t think the project we’re building here is stable enough now to have taken that hit.”
“I’m delighted people think that much of me after 16 games, but I don’t think that much of myself, I’ve still got a long way to go.”
When discussing his longer term future, Beale said: “The big aim is to manage in the Champions League, probably for a foreign club because no English coach is doing that.
“I know the Premier League’s the world’s best league but I don’t know if managing a lower Premier League team is better than managing an Ajax, a PSV or a Dortmund.”
Of course, Rangers were in the Champions League as recently as last month, so perhaps the prospect of future European campaigns with the Gers will be enough to bring him back to Scotland.
Beale is still very fondly thought of by Rangers fans and widely considered to have been the “mastermind” behind Gerrard’s managerial success in Scotland.
So, it is highly likely that the English coach would be Rangers’ next top target should van Bronckhorst be sacked in the coming weeks.