Latest: I've had 'positive talks' with Rangers, says Steven Gerrard

Update 8.07pm: Steven Gerrard has confirmed his interest in taking over as manager of Rangers.

The former Liverpool and England captain, who is currently in charge of the under-18s side at Anfield, has held initial discussions with the Scottish Premiership club.

Gerrard would become the long-term successor at Ibrox to Graeme Murty, who was sacked earlier today.

Asked about recent speculation linking him with the post, Gerrard told BT Sport: "Yes, there is truth in the rumours. I've held initial talks with Rangers and the plan is to pick them up in a couple of days' time. We'll see.

"There is (interest). I've held positive talks with them. I'm busy now for a couple of days but I will pick it up on Thursday and we'll see if we can progress it."

Gerrard will be in Italy tomorrow working as a TV pundit for Liverpool's Champions League semi-final against Roma.

Rangers have said they hope to be able to release news about Murty's successor "in the near future".

Earlier: Graeme Murty sacked by Rangers as talks with Steven Gerrard continue

Rangers have called time on Graeme Murty's Rangers reign just 48 hours after their record thumping by Celtic.

Ibrox chiefs, who have been locked in talks with Steven Gerrard for the past week, say they hope to be able to release news about Murty's successor "in the near future".

Former under-20s coach Murty was due to remain in charge until the end of the season but was relieved of his duties after meeting with Stewart Robertson this morning.

Assistant coaches Jimmy Nicholl and Jonatan Johansson will take over dugout responsibilities for Saturday's home game with Kilmarnock while Rangers chiefs look to lift the dark gloom currently sitting over Ibrox by securing the appointment of former Liverpool and England skipper Gerrard.

Murty was only meant to be a short-term fix after being called in as caretaker boss following Pedro Caixinha's sacking back in October.

But he ended up staying in post for six months as chairman Dave King and his board dithered over appointing a new long-term successor.

The club said in a statement: "Rangers are grateful to Graeme, who did not hesitate when asked last October to become interim manager after the departure of Pedro Caixinha and then, at the turn of the year, when he was offered the role as manager until the end of the season.

"Graeme has had to contend with difficult and challenging circumstances but conducted himself in a thoroughly professional manner. He will take some time to consider his options, which include returning to his role at the Rangers Academy."

Sunday's record 5-0 league pasting by Celtic in the end proved to be a humiliation too far for the former Reading and Scotland defender.

It came just two weeks after a 4-0 drubbing by Brendan Rodgers' merciless Hoops in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals turned what had been a previously sympathetic Gers faithful against him.

Originally there was a degree of understanding shown to Murty as the academy coach stepped into the Ibrox breach for the second time, having also served as caretaker boss after Mark Warburton's exit.

He suffered early setbacks with defeats to Hamilton, Dundee, St Johnstone and Kilmarnock but showed some promise with home and away wins over Aberdeen as well as an encouraging 0-0 draw at Celtic Park.

But that optimism was snubbed out as they suffered a 3-2 Ibrox defeat against 10-man Celtic in March.

That defeat sapped the confidence from the Gers ranks and the wheels came off at Hampden two weeks ago as Rodgers' team ran up another one-sided triumph.

Events at Parkhead on Sunday merely underlined just how rudderless the Light Blues have become both on and off the pitch, with Murty and his players declining to address what had gone wrong as they snubbed the post-match press conference.

It will now fall on Nicholl and Johansson's shoulders to guide Rangers past Aberdeen and Hibernian through to second spot.

The Parkhead mauling saw Rangers drop three points behind the Dons, with only goal difference keeping them in front of fourth-placed Hibs.

Gers travel to Pittodrie next Tuesday before rounding off their campaign against Neil Lennon's in-form Leith outfit at Easter Road on May 13.

A fourth-place finish might not only see Rangers miss out on a Europa League slot should Motherwell beat Celtic in the Scottish Cup final, but it would see them miss out on a £560,000 cash windfall compared to ending the season as runners up.

- AP


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