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Report claims that Walter Smith warned Derek McInnes away from Ibrox job as vacancy opens up again

Keith Jackson has dragged Walter Smith into the discussion that is tearing Ibrox fans apart- should Derek McInnes be offered the manager’s job at Ibrox.

Following the sacking of Pedro Caixinha in November 2017 the then Aberdeen boss was the hot tip and fans favourite to bring some order and dignity to the managers job at Ibrox.

There wouldn’t be any post-match confrontations with fans from a hedge in Luxemburg or references to barking dogs and caravans with McInnes in charge of proceedings.

Graeme Park had headed up the appointment of Caixinha based on his friendship with Pedro Mendes but this time around Dave King was leading the hunt, assisted by his Communications Chief James Traynor.

McInnes moving to Ibrox, after years of commuting to Aberdeen from his Renfrewshire home, seemed the original no-brainer but strangely, for reasons that have never surfaced he backed out of the move to stay at Pittodrie.

That resulted in Graeme Murty getting an extended stay as Caretaker, ending in the tears of a 5-0 defeat from Celtic to clinch the title a fortnight after a 4-0 defeat in the Scottish Cup that ended the Ibrox careers of Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace.

Ibrox fans have put forward various theories for McInnes pulling out, the most common one being that he s**t it from the challenge.

Keith Jackson of the Daily Record is a huge fan of the Kilmarnock boss, with the Ibrox job again vacant he has thrown fresh light on exactly why McInnes didn’t move from Aberdeen six years ago.

In the Record he explains:

Kilmarnock’s Derek McInnes remains another potential candidate and this one really would have interested Smith, who was always more than happy to act as a mentor and sounding board for his former player.

There are, of course, some Rangers fans who won’t tolerate the idea of offering the job to McInnes following his decision to turn it down during his time in charge at Aberdeen. What would Walter Smith have done?

Well, as a matter of fact, it was Smith who advised McInnes to walk away from the table after Dave King changed the goalposts at the 11th hour, attempted to renegotiate a contract which had already been agreed and refused point blank to discuss the size of budget that would be have been made available.

Acting on Smith’s advice, McInnes didn’t turn Rangers down. He said ‘no’ to King and to the prospect of working for a man he felt he could not possibly trust.

On reflection, that seems like a pretty shrewd move on his part but a bad one for a club which has won only two trophies over the subsequent six years. It’s difficult to imagine such a paltry return of silverware had McInnes not been convinced into changing his mind.

James Bisgrove and John Bennett are apparently conducting interview in London this week, last week they are reported to have met up with Frank Lampard before the former Chelsea boss dropped his interest.

As other credible candidates look at the job, the squad that they will inherit and the expectation of toppling Celtic they might well opt like McInnes did in 2017 to take a step back.

In that case Bennett and Bisgrove may have to look closer to home with David Martindale, Billy Davies and McInnes the only possible options.

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