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Is Rangers' pursuit of top target McInnes under threat?

Derek McInnes Manager of Aberdeen during the Brechin City v Aberdeen - Pre Season Friendly, at Glebe Park on July 23, 2017 in Brechin, Scotland.

Derek McInnes was close to Sunderland in the summer, now is favourite for the Rangers job. Will he end up at Ibrox?

Derek McInnes Manager of Aberdeen during the Brechin City v Aberdeen - Pre Season Friendly, at Glebe Park on July 23, 2017 in Brechin, Scotland.

Rangers may have to speed up their pursuit of top managerial target Derek McInnes.

Aberdeen manager McInnes is the current favourite to land the Ibrox gig, with Rangers looking to replace sacked manager Pedro Caixinha.

But time is of the essence after English Championship side Sunderland fired manager Simon Grayson.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

McInnes was a Sunderland target in the summer, before he turned down the opportunity to move to Wearside.

Now with the vacancy open again, an increasingly desperate Sunderland could yet decide to renew their attempts to persuade him to join.

While the Sunderland task has got tougher, McInnes' time at Aberdeen may be coming to a close.

Derek McInnes Manager of Aberdeen during the Brechin City v Aberdeen - Pre Season Friendly, at Glebe Park on July 23, 2017 in Brechin, Scotland.

His side look like being also-rans again, beaten 3-0 at home by Celtic a fortnight ago, with the manager telling BBC Sport that whatever team he picked, his side would have lost.

It was a worrying sign of defeatism, and an indication McInnes needs a new challenge.

Rangers hope this will be with them, and at the moment are in the lead to try and persuade him to come aboard.

If they leave it too late then they could come to regret it.

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