Could Rangers' interest in Michael O'Neill prove beneficial for Graeme Murty?

A general view of Ibrox Stadium is seen ahead of the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Scotland and Georgia at Ibrox Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Glasgow Rangers are interested in appointing Michael O'Neill, but could that interest boost Graeme Murty's hopes of landing the Ibrox job?

Northern Ireland's manager Michael O'Neill watches on the touchline during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Northern Ireland and Germany at the National...

According to a recent report from the Telegraph, Rangers are interested in battling Scotland for the chance to make Michael O'Neill their next manager after Northern Ireland missed out on a place in next year's World Cup.

While it is not clear how high O'Neill finds himself on the Gers' list of targets, perhaps it would be fair to suggest that if he is their number one candidate, it may not be out of the question to expect little movement from the Scottish Premiership side for the time-being.

Sports Direct signage on show at Ibrox stadium during the William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round match between Rangers and Raith Rovers on February 8, 2015 in Glasgow Scotland.

Northern Ireland do not have their next fixture for a while, so while some club managers will be making plans for January, O'Neill probably does not need to think about his side too much, especially as there appears to be a number of ageing players with decisions to make about their own futures first. 

And with Rangers fighting an uphill battle trying to get themselves back in the title race in the top flight this season, it would undoubtedly be a mistake for the Gers hierarchy to rush into a decision regarding approaching O'Neill as making the wrong appointment would be a poorer decision than taking much longer than most to decide.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty is seen during the Scottish Cup Quarter final match between Rangers and Hamilton Academical at Ibrox Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

So if Rangers do decide that right now, O'Neill is their preferred candidate and they will take full advantage of not having to rush an approach, could that potentially open the door for another candidate?

Graeme Murty has been in caretaker charge since Pedro Caixinha was sacked last month, and he has done his chances of getting the job on a permanent basis absolutely no harm at all, winning both of his games in charge with six goals being scored and just one conceded.

Murty has shown himself to be the safe pair of hands that allows the board to take as much time as they need to find the right man to take them forward - even if they need longer as they consider an approach for O'Neill.

But if Murty continues to oversee victories while he remains in caretaker charge, then perhaps it may not be too long before the time the club spend considering making an approach for O'Neill - if that is what they decide to do - allows Murty to stake a claim, potentially meaning that the breathing space that O'Neill's situation has given them could actually prove to be the window that Murty needed all along to make himself the number one candidate. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch