NEW Rangers boss Giovanni van Bonckhorst is ready to hit the ground running after agreeing a three-and-a-half year contract.

The former Ibrox star ended the guessing game when he finally accepted the challenge of succeeding Steven Gerrard who joined Aston Villa a week ago.

Van Bronckhorst is already piecing together his backroom team which will include former Bayern Munich striker Roy Makaay, while he’s also looking to add physiotherapist Arno Phillips and data and performance analyst Yori Bosschart.

The one-time Dutch international, 46, who also played for Feyenoord, Arsenal and Barcelona, also has former No.2 Jean-Paul van Gastel on his wanted list.

The pair worked together at Feyenoord and Chinese top-flight outfit Guangzhou City.

Van Gastel took over from Van Bronckhorst when he left China at the turn of the year and the second stage of the domestic season begins in a few weeks’ time with the team in fourth spot after the August split.

Guangzhou insisted earlier this week they expected Van Gastel to continue to prepare his players for the restart and stated they had received no contact from Ibrox.

However, it appears they are already lining up a replacement in the shape of former China Under-21s manager Zhao Junzhe, according to a report in the Daily Record.

Zhao has been out of work since a spell in charge of Cangzhou Mighty Lions ended last year and is eager to return to the dug-out.

Van Bronckhorst will be in the Hampden stand on Sunday afternoon when Rangers play Hibs in the Premier Sports League Cup semi-final.

Celtic play St Johnstone at the same venue tomorrow evening in the first last-four encounter.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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