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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Sunday, 9 December, 2001, 13:15 GMT
Gers step up manager search
Hibs boss Alex McLeish
Alex McLeish is believed to be top of Rangers' list
Rangers chairman David Murray has told BBC Scotland that there could be a new manager in place at Ibrox in less than a fortnight.

Murray said that an announcement could be made by the time of the club's Annual General Meeting, which takes place on 18 December.

Murray was at pains to stress that nobody had been approached yet but BBC Scotland understands a shortlist of four has been drawn up, which includes Alex McLeish, George Burley and Bertie Vogts.

Reports have circulated for months that current manager Dick Advocaat, who came to Ibrox in June 1998, will be given a new role within the club.

And after Sunday's victory over Hearts at Ibrox, Advocaat confirmed that there would be a new face in the Rangers dugout.

"There will be a new manager but I don't know when," said the Dutchman.

"It may be announced this week or it may be later. We will see when we can do it."

At the forthcoming AGM, the Glasgow giants will face scrutiny from their shareholders over a 16m loss last season - when rivals Celtic won all three domestic trophies.

Rangers are currently 12 points behind Celtic in the SPL race, although some of the Ibrox gloom was lifted on Thursday with a fourth round spot booked in the Uefa Cup.

A world cup winner as a player, Vogts has only recently taking over a coaching role with the Kuwait national side and would demand a bumper wage.

Ipswich boss George Burley
George Burley has watched Ipswich falter
The man who steered Germany to Euro 96 victory in England has also been linked with the vacant post of Scotland manager.

Burley, who worked wonders with Ipswich Town last season, steering the Portman Road side to a Uefa Cup place in their first term back in the Premiership, has seen his team slip to the bottom of the table.

McLeish also enjoyed great success last season, taking Hibernian to a Uefa Cup place and the Scottish Cup final, has also suffered a downturn in fortunes - with the Easter Road side currently occupying eighth spot in the SPL.

A Hibernian spokesman said: "We have not heard anything from Rangers and we do not expect to.

"Alex is happy here and whoever Rangers want as their new manager has nothing to do with Hibernian."

Some Sunday papers suggest that former Arsenal and Tottenham manager George Graham is the fourth candidate, but BBC Scotland understands that he is not one of the front-runners.

See also:

07 Dec 01 |  Uefa Cup
Advocaat hints at longer stay
03 Dec 01 |  Scotland
Murray's empire under pressure
03 Dec 01 |  Scotland
Gough would love Ibrox return
30 Nov 01 |  Scotland
Gers resigned to losing players
28 Nov 01 |  Scotland
Rangers set for reshuffle
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