Alex Neil's previous comments on Rangers job make Ibrox links very interesting

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.

Alex Neil has done a fine job in the Championship and the Preston North End manager is now the new favourite to replace Graeme Murty at Rangers.

Alex Neil manager of Preston looks on during the pre season friendly match between Preston North End and Burnley at Deepdale on July 25, 2017 in Preston, England.

Speculation about who could be the Rangers manager next season is hotting up.

Graeme Murty’s chances of earning an extended contract are perhaps more in doubt now than ever on the back of the ill-disciplined, humiliating 4-0 thrashing at Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty during the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Ranger at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

And, just two days later, BetVictor have suddenly made Preston North End boss Alex Neil the joint 5/1 favourite alongside former Ibrox favourite Frank de Boer. Interestingly, the odds on Neil being appointed to replace Murty have been slashed from 25/1.

And, when speaking to the Scottish Sun last year, it became clear that Neil has the self-belief to take charge of one of the nation’s true giants. He also suggested he would be interested in returning to manage either Celtic or Rangers.

“Returning to Scotland would depend on what the job is," he said. "It would need to be something particularly good, although you can never rule anything out. But I reckon I could do an Old Firm job. I’ve no doubts.”

Neil certainly ticks a lot of boxes. The 36-year-old is a young and forward-thinking coach who prioritises attacking football and tends to make a side greater than the sum of its parts.

Alex Neil Manager of Norwich City celebrates his team's first goal by Robbie Brady (not pictured) during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Norwich City at the...

He took Norwich City to the Premier League in 2015, has turned a rather average Preston side into play-off contenders and also knows the Scottish Premiership well, leading Hamilton to the top flight in 2014 and guiding them to a first win against Celtic in 76 years.

On paper, hiring Neil would make a lot of sense for Rangers.

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