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Mick Beale: Rangers set to appoint QPR boss after Giovanni van Bronckhorst's sacking

Mick Beale is in Glasgow to finalise his move to Rangers; QPR granted Ibrox club permission to open negotiations; Damian Matthew, Harry Watling and Neil Banfield are expected to join Beale at Rangers; watch Rangers vs Hibernian live on Sky Sports on December 15

Michael Beale
Image: Mick Beale is expected to complete his move from QPR to Rangers

Mick Beale is close to finalising an agreement to become Rangers boss, with an announcement expected as early as Monday.

The 42-year-old has arrived at the club's training ground to complete his move from QPR after being granted permission to hold talks.

It is understood Beale - who has maintained good relations with the club since his departure as coach last November - will be joined by coaches Damian Matthew, Harry Watling and Neil Banfield at Ibrox.

QPR boss Beale returned to Ibrox to watch Rangers against Aberdeen last month
Image: QPR boss Beale (right) returned to Ibrox to watch Rangers against Aberdeen last month

Paul Hall will take training at QPR while the club continue their search for Beale's replacement.

Beale was a part of Steven Gerrard's backroom team when Rangers won their 55th top-flight title in 2021 before leaving for Aston Villa.

He then made his move to become boss at QPR less than six weeks ago and turned down an approach from Wolves last month, citing "integrity and loyalty" as the reason for rejecting the Premier League job.

Beale and his staff were understood to be in contract extension talks with QPR before Rangers' interest developed.

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That is despite Beale's family struggling to settle in the West Midlands - where he is still based - following his move from Glasgow last November.

It is also understood the Championship club were aware Beale wanted to return to Ibrox as boss one day when initial talks about his appointment at QPR took place.

Rangers players will return to training later on Monday, following the World Cup break, where they will be expected to meet Beale before starting preparations for their return to league action.

The Gers face Hibernian at Ibrox in the Scottish Premiership, live on Sky Sports, on December 15 - with the team nine points behind Celtic in the league.

Critchley high on QPR's list of replacements

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley during the Sky Bet Championship match at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool. Picture date: Saturday April 30, 2022.
Image: Former Blackpool manager Neil Critchley is a potential replacement for Beale at QPR

Neil Critchley is high on QPR's list of potential candidates to replace Beale.

Critchley is available after leaving Aston Villa when Gerrard was sacked, having taken over from Beale as his assistant in the summer.

He had mentored Gerrard's first steps into coaching at Liverpool while U23s boss, where they developed a good relationship.

Steven Gerrard speaks to Assistant Head Coach Neil Critchley
Image: Critchley's last job saw him work as an assistant to Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa

Then in his first senior managerial job, Critchley led Blackpool to promotion to the Championship and made them competitive in their first season back in the division.

He has recently been courted by Bournemouth to join Gary O'Neil's coaching staff.

QPR do have other options they are considering and have time to appoint a successor, with their next Championship game not coming until Sunday December 11.

Warburton: Gers job will be 'very hard to turn down' for Beale

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Former Rangers and QPR boss Mark Warburton discusses if Mick Beale would be the right choice for the Ibrox side

Former Rangers boss Mark Warburton told Sky Sports News:

"It's a fantastic opportunity and Michael will know that. He'll recognise the club, he'll have very good relationships within the club established by working with Steven [Gerrard], so should it come along, it will be a fantastic opportunity and I'm sure very hard to turn down.

"To manage a club of Rangers' stature is always a magnificent opportunity. Should it go ahead, he'll have a very difficult decision to make, that's for sure."

Asked if the opportunity is too early in his career, Warburton replied: "I think he'll recognise that. Mick is a very smart guy. He will understand the implications of that and the challenge that he will face, but at the same time I think he recognises that such opportunities don't come along very often to manage a club the size of Rangers, so if it does all go ahead, I think he'll back himself to go and succeed.

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Alex Rae discusses potential candidates to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst at Rangers

"I think Mick would be honest enough to say a top-six or top-eight Premier League club is not going to come along immediately and, as such, the lure of European football, as you saw last year with what can be achieved and the backing they receive from the supporters, that type of attraction, that type of learning curve and learning experience, I'm sure will appeal to Michael.

"I think you have to weigh it up. He's in a good place right now, he's had a good start to the season with QPR so it's a difficult decision. But I think he'll be honest enough with himself to know that this type of opportunity doesn't come along every week.

"It's a huge club, big opportunity, a chance of European football, dealing with the Old Firm. He's been there with Steven, Steven was manager and did a magnificent job in that role and Micky supported him very capably and I'm sure now he'd be intrigued as to know whether he can do that job himself."

'Beale fits Rangers and knows the club'

Michael Beale (right) was a coach under Steven Gerrard at Rangers
Image: Beale (right) was a coach under Steven Gerrard at Rangers for three years

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller told Sky Sports News:

"There's loads of names that spring to mind. One for me that would be right at the top of the list would be Mick Beale. His name's been bandied about over the last month while Rangers have been toiling.

"I think he fits, he knows the club, he knows the players. There would be no surprises with him walking back into the building in terms of the demands and the expectations of the football club and he's started off his own journey as a manager pretty well as well so I think he'd be right at the top of the list."

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Beale discusses his memories of his time at Rangers and why he went to watch the match against Aberdeen

Livingston manager David Martindale believes Beale would be "a great fit" for the Rangers vacancy.

"I don't want to speak out of turn because it's not my place to talk about other clubs and other managers but I think Michael would be a great fit for Rangers," said Martindale.

"That's up to Michael Beale and Rangers Football Club, not David Martindale.

"Would that be a good fit? Probably but I don't know more than you do.

"I'm a big advocate for British managers. I like to see progression within the British game and I think there's a lot to be said for hiring someone with knowledge of the players and knowledge of Scottish football."

Rangers' next five fixtures

December 15: Hibernian (h), Scottish Premiership, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports

December 20: Aberdeen (a), Scottish Premiership, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports

December 23: Ross County (a), Scottish Premiership, kick-off 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports

December 28: Motherwell (h), Scottish Premiership, kick-off 7.45pm

January 2: Celtic (h), Scottish Premiership, kick-off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports

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