Could resignation clear way for Gattuso’s Rangers return?

Italian Gennaro Gattuso is in the frame for the Hamilton job but would surely jump at the chance of an Ibrox return.

Lurching from one crisis to the next with seemingly no end in sight, the resignation of caretaker manager Kenny McDowall, confirmed by the BBC, is just the latest worrying development at Glasgow Rangers, but it could pave the way for the return of a fan favourite.

Gennaro Gattuso may have only spent a single season as a 'Gers player, prior to making his name with AC Milan and the Italian national team, but during that spell he fell in love with Glasgow – and his wife, one of the city’s inhabitants.

Since hanging up his boots in 2013, the 37-year-old has publicly flirted with the top job at Ibrox.

As recently as December, for instance, in the wake of Ally McCoist’s surprise departure the Italian was voicing his desire to return to the club as manager.

"My wife is from Glasgow but the main reason to want to go there is because Rangers is a big team with big stories," he told the Daily Mail.

"Believe me, the priority would not be my family. It would be the job and the chance to work for a big club which is in my heart."

Something of a newcomer to the management game, it’s fair to say that Gattuso has so far enjoyed limited success during admittedly short spells at the helms of clubs in Switzerland, Italy and most recently Greece.

But, in fairness to the former Rossoneri star, he has faced trying circumstances at every turn and club owners all too happy to fire managers rather than establish long term stability.

An initial stint with FC Sion was always likely to end prematurely under owner Christian Constantin, the former architect owner who went through six different coaches during Gattuso’s single season at the club.

The problems at Palermo, then in Serie B, are also well documented with notoriously trigger-happy chairman Maurizio Zamparini infamous for a record that has seen him average roughly two managers per season over the past 20+ years.

Even at OFI Crete, Gattuso encountered problems with the owner, hamstrung by the kind of financial limitations that have seen several clubs in the Greek Super League struggle to even stay in existence.

Players and coaches at the club often went unpaid for long periods of time, while resources at the club were limited at best.

And when results failed to come, Gattuso, to his credit, offered to resign, only for the club’s fans to rally outside his home and convince him to stay, albeit temporarily.

Now back on the hunt for a new job, the Italian has pitched back up in Scotland, having applied for the role of Hamilton manager.

And speaking to The Scotsman, Gattuso appeared steadfast in his desire to return to the British shores.

"I think my style is perfectly suited to the way the game is played in the UK. I like aggressive football and for players to put pressure on the ball," he told the news provider.

"I have family in Scotland but that is not the only reason I want to work there. The football is a good standard and there is a good atmosphere at the matches."

Hamilton may have stolen a march on Rangers in terms of recruiting Gattuso but any offer from Ibrox could take priority over a move to the Accies.

An untested and largely unproven coach he may be, but the appointment of Gattuso could give the Rangers players and supporters exactly the kind of lift required to help push the club on to promotion - something that remains a possibility via the end-of-season play-off.

With the 'Gers encountering trouble at every turn, it’s high time those behind the scenes started trying to get supporters back on side with a big-name arrival of sorts.

Gattuso has experienced life at financially constrained clubs before but the quality of the Rangers playing staff makes the role a far more palatable prospect than that of OFI Crete.

Like McCoist he has the passion and drive to help the club regain its place at the top table of Scottish football and, if those behind the scenes at the club are patient, it could prove to be the kind of masterstroke Hamilton previous pulled off with the appointment of the then unknown Alex Neil.

It’s time Rangers started thinking outside the box – starting with a move for Gattuso.

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