By Lisa Gray
RANGERS chairman David Murray will step up his efforts over the next 48 hours to bring in Paul Le Guen as the club’s new manager.
The former Lyon coach confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in football when he admitted yesterday to being in talks with the Ibrox club.
Le Guen’s long-time assistant, Yves Colleu, was in Glasgow over the weekend - with Le Guen’s family - to view property in the city. Colleu believes Murray will have his answer from Le Guen by tomorrow over his possible succession to Alex McLeish, who will step down at the end of the season.
Le Guen, who guided Lyon to three French titles and successive Champions League quarter-finals in 2004 and 2005, said yesterday: "We are discussing but we have not yet reached the point where we sign a contract."
Colleu watched Rangers’ 1-0 defeat by Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday. He left before the end of the game, maintaining Rangers can expect an answer by Wednesday.
"It is difficult for me to talk at this stage. I would prefer to wait three or four days," said Colleu.
Murray is aiming to confirm McLeish’s successor after the Champions League tie with Villarreal. Rangers play host to the Spanish team on February 22, before travelling to the Madrigal Stadium on March 7.
Meanwhile, new Hearts director of football Jim Duffy believes his appointment will ease the burden on head coach Graham Rix. Former Hibernian and Dundee manager Duffy will hold his post until the end of the season.
The 46-year-old was brought to the club by Rix before the end of last month to help with coaching duties but has now been promoted by majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov with the full backing of the former Chelsea coach.
Duffy said: "Naturally, I am delighted to take on this role as I believe that it is essential that a club of the size and stature of Hearts should have a strong framework in which everyone is allowed to truly concentrate on their individual roles.
"My appointment will, above all else, allow Graham to concentrate solely on the coaching and development of the first-team squad, while I will take on the responsibility for identifying how we can develop the entire footballing side of Hearts."