THE SCOTTISH SUN 🔵 Rangers will have to work hard to keep Philippe Clement, says ex chief Dave King – Shango Media
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THE SCOTTISH SUN 🔵 Rangers will have to work hard to keep Philippe Clement, says ex chief Dave King

FORMER Rangers chairman Dave King has yet to have the pleasure of Philippe Clement’s company.

But the Ibrox boss has already done enough with the resources he has at his disposal to convince the South African that the Gers will have their work cut out keeping hold of him.

Rangers boss Philippe Clement could be a man in demand

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Rangers boss Philippe Clement could be a man in demandCredit: Getty
Dave King has yet to have the pleasure of Philippe Clement's company - but he's a fan

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Dave King has yet to have the pleasure of Philippe Clement’s company – but he’s a fanCredit: PA

That’s because there’s a dearth of outstanding managerial candidates out there – and some big jobs likely to be vacant this summer.

We already know that Jurgen Klopp will be on the move from Liverpool this summer – with reported No 1 target Xabi Alonso opting to stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

Erik Ten Hag appears on his way out at Manchester United amid the new broom of Jim Ratcliffe and Dave Brailsford.

And then there’s Bayern Munich and Barcelona, where both Thomas Tuchel and Xavi will part company with their mega clubs this summer.

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Whether King means those jobs in particular – or whether appointments to those jobs create a tidal wave of new opportunities for time-served managers with league wins on their CV – King reckons the time is now for the Gers to make sure that the future of Clement is ring-fenced.

He’s already under contract until the summer of 2027 but King is critical of the club for failing to show a similar level of ambition after Steven Gerrard claimed the club’s first title for a decade.

King told The Herald: « Clement has come in and created a culture and attitudinal change within the squad without really having the benefit of the new signings.

« I think that is exciting for me, as a supporter, to look at what he has been able to achieve with essentially the same resources that we ended last season with.

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« I am looking for him to – if he kicks on this year, and there is still a lot to be played for – get some of the guys back from injuries and then look to see what he can do with rotation of the squad.

« With the board structure and the operating structure in place, including the football side, as a supporter I am much more confident going forward.

Awkward moment Philippe Clement shuts down question as Rangers boss asks ‘did you have the feeling that it changed

« I really think we have got a platform now and I just hope we are able to keep the manager.

« If you look at it right now and the international market for managers, I am watching it a lot with the Liverpool situation, and I say ‘where is the quality of manager?’

« Liverpool are looking for a manager, I think [Manchester] United will be looking for a manager, we have got Barcelona looking for a manager, Bayern looking for a manager. You look out there and ask ‘where are these managers?’

« I would think that our present manager, particularly given that [Ange] Postecoglou has done so well with Spurs as well, I think we are going to have to work hard to hold on to him because there is a dearth of really good managers out there.

« I am very excited about him.

Xabi Alonso is staying at Bayer Leverkusen

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Xabi Alonso is staying at Bayer LeverkusenCredit: Getty

« He is the first manager for the last 25, 30 years who I have never personally met.

« Even going back to David Murray’s days, I knew the managers. It does help to have a certain sense of them as a person.

« You can see their personal characteristics, who they are as a man, what they are like outside of the football environment.

« I haven’t had that opportunity because I haven’t met the new manager yet. But I just look at the way the club is going about their business, not just what is said.

« There are certain soundbites that every player gives you and every manager gives you.

« Look at what is happening on the park. There is a discernible shape, there is a camaraderie, there is something about how he has got the guys working that makes it obvious that it is a factor that he has introduced, that he has instilled.

Erik Ten Hag could leave Old Trafford this summer

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Erik Ten Hag could leave Old Trafford this summerCredit: AFP

King reckons two aspects – getting more game time from a squad often filled with injured players and more investment – will stand the Ibrox men in good stead going forward.

« If he gets both no matter what happens in the rest of the season, I will be going into the new season feeling good for the first time since 55.

« Let’s hope nothing over the next few weeks derails that thought process.

« In my case, it won’t. You can get wobbles.

« It would be great if things kick on from where we are but even if they don’t, I still feel that there is a solid base there to go forward for the next year or two.

« What he is doing on the pitch, it seems to me we are heading in the right direction.

« If we can somehow get over the line this year, and there is no reason why we can’t from here, and actually win the league, then I really pray and hope that we use it as a proper springboard to kick on, which we should have done after 55.

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« That really was a massive mistake and a missed opportunity. »

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