Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes set to quit and join Rangers as Ibrox chiefs move closer to appointing new manager

Derek McInnes will have to resign from his position at Aberdeen if he wants the Rangers job.

The Daily Record reports the Pittodrie boss and right-hand man Tony Docherty have been left with no option but to rip up their own contracts if McInnes wants to open talks about becoming Pedro Caixinha’s replacement.

Dons chairman Stewart Milne made his hardball position clear last night after booting out an official approach from the Ibrox club – and turning down a cheque for £1million in compensation.

It’s understood Milne has been infuriated by the way Rangers have allowed the issue to develop into a saga over the last six weeks and is unwilling to make the move to hijack his manager an easy one.

It will now be up to McInnes to terminate his working relationship with the club if he wishes to enter into signing talks with Dave King’s board.

Such a move could lead to Aberdeen suing McInnes and Docherty for breach of contract although ultimately Rangers would still be obliged to meet the final bill in full if they do land their No.1 target.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
(Image: 2017 Getty Images)

McInnes must now weigh up how badly he wants to pursue the opportunity of a return to Ibrox, where he spent five years as a player between 1995 and 2000, and the 46-year-old was last night sleeping on his next move.

But it’s believed he is determined to listen to what Rangers have to say even if that results in a messy divorce from Aberdeen.

After refusing Gers permission to sit McInnes down for talks just after 6pm yesterday, Milne sanctioned a tersely-worded statement that read: “Aberdeen has announced this evening that Rangers have contacted the club asking for permission to speak to Derek McInnes and that permission has been refused.”

McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty
(Image: Ian MacNicol)

But despite the impasse it’s not inconceivable McInnes could still be in the Rangers dugout for this weekend’s clash with Ross County.

A source close to the stand-off said last night: “It’s been a very testing situation for a number of reasons. The last thing Derek will have wanted was for his relationship with Aberdeen to end on a sour note.

“Rangers haven’t exactly helped to make it a smooth passage down the road and Stewart Milne clearly feels, because of the way they have gone about their business, he has no choice but to take a stand. Aberdeen’s supporters would expect nothing less.

Pedro Caixinha was sacked by Rangers
(Image: Getty Images Europe)

“By turning down the Rangers offer he has effectively kicked the ball straight into Derek’s court. He now faces a difficult decision but if he wants to be the next manager of Rangers – and it seems very much that he does – then he knows now what he has to do.

“It looks as if things could become legally messy between Derek and Aberdeen. He may have to take a leap of faith where Gers are concerned. But this opportunity looks impossible to turn down.”

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