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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Monday, 6 December 2010

Ally McCoist ready to step up, says Walter Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith (right) in discussion with assistant Ally McCoist
Smith (right) hopes McCoist is given the chance to take over in the dugout

Walter Smith will not accept any footballing role under a new Rangers owner and hopes Ally McCoist is allowed to succeed him as manager.

Scottish businessman Craig Whyte is bidding to buy out Sir David Murray and take control of the Ibrox club.

Smith, 62, has made it clear that he will not be dissuaded from his intention to step down in May.

"Alistair is more than ready to take over," Smith told BBC Scotland. "He knows exactly what is required."

Whyte and Murray are understood to be in broad agreement over the general terms of the takeover but no formal offer has been made yet.

And BBC Scotland believes that Whyte would be happy to see Smith hand the reins over to his assistants McCoist and Kenny McDowall.

"I have stated publicly that I would like that to happen," added Smith on the topic of his successor.

"When Sir David Murray asked me to come back, it was with the intention of staying for a couple of years. I didn't think I'd still be here four-and-a-half years later.

"It's natural, from my point of view, that Alistair would get the opportunity to take over. I hope that is the case."

McCoist was as a prolific striker during Smith's first managerial stint at Ibrox and served as assistant during Smith's three-year tenure as Scotland boss before the pair returned to Ibrox in January 2007.

That partnership is sure to break up at the end of the season, with Smith ruling out the possibility of staying on as a director of football.

"It certainly wouldn't be in any sort of footballing position," Smith said when asked if he could be persuaded to continue his involvement at Ibrox. "I wouldn't do that.

"Whatever opportunities come my way, we'll just have to wait and see."

Whyte and Murray are understood to be in broad agreement over the general terms of the takeover but no formal offer has been made yet.

A new owner may, of course, have fresh ideas about how the team is run.

But McCoist will not allow the takeover talks to distract him from his dreams of becoming the next manager of the club.

"I am only concerned that the takeover, if and when it comes, is successful for Rangers Football Club," explained Smith's assistant. "That's what I have said all along.

"I'm damned tooting if I was buying Rangers Football Club, I would want my own people running it.

"If that's the case you keep your fingers crossed that you are the person they want to run it. That's the way it is.

"But the most important thing is the football club, it always has been and always will be.

"My only concern is that we do get financial backing and the club can move forward."

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see also
Smith bids adieu to Champions League
07 Dec 10 |  Rangers
Gers boss eyes Bursaspor flourish
06 Dec 10 |  Rangers
Whyte holds further Rangers talks
03 Dec 10 |  Rangers
Ibrox changes will not sway Smith
19 Nov 10 |  Rangers
Duo hold Rangers takeover talks
18 Nov 10 |  Rangers
Smith may carry on after Rangers
15 Nov 10 |  Rangers

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