A-Leagues legend early favourite to land big Scottish job

Kevin Muscat is the early frontrunner to become the next Rangers manager after Michael Beale was sacked.

Rangers are searching for a new boss in the wake of Beale’s departure, with the Scottish Premiership giants already seven points adrift of bitter rivals and leaders Celtic following a shock 3-1 loss to Aberdeen.

There is already an early favourite to take charge, with A-Leagues legend and former Socceroo Muscat at the top of Betfair’s betting market, having previously played for Rangers in 2002-03.

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Betfair has the Yokohama F.Marinos head coach as the the $A3.50 frontrunner to permanently replace Beale, ahead of ex-Chelsea boss Graham Potter ($5.00), Jesse Marsch ($8.00), Bodo/Glimt’s Kjetil Knutsen ($9.00), Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa ($9.50) and Ralph Hasenhuttl ($11.00).

Newly-appointed Marseille boss Gennaro Gattuso ($13.00), Scott Parker ($17.00), Ruud van Nistelrooy ($17.00), Andre Villas-Boas ($21.00), Blackburn Rovers’ Jon Dahl Tomasson ($29.00), Chris Wilder ($29.00), John Terry ($34.00), Michael Carrick of Middlesbrough ($51.00), Barry Ferguson ($51.00), Neil Lennon ($51.00), former Rangers boss Steven Gerrard ($51.00) and Inverness coach Duncan Ferguson ($151.00) are also on Betfair’s list.

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Muscat was part of the Rangers team that won the domestic treble in 2002-03 – a side that featured fellow Socceroo Craig Moore and future Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

The 50-year-old was linked with Rangers last month amid growing pressure on Beale as some reports claimed the club had made contact with Muscat.

Muscat has been tipped by mentor and Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou to make the move to the United Kingdom as he continues to impress in Japan, where he earned plaudits for his team’s attacking and entertaining brand of football.

First Melbourne Victory and now F.Marinos. Muscat has been following a path walked by his mentor Postecoglou, but he has been doing things his own way while tasting success, having guided F.Marinos to the J1 League title last season.

A long-time assistant to Postecoglou at Victory in the Isuzu UTE A-League before replacing the Aussie trailblazer in Yokohama following his switch to Celtic in 2021, Muscat’s F.Marinos were crowned kings of Japan for the first time since 2019.

Muscat, who previously spent time with Sint-Truiden in Belgium, has the defending champions in contention for back-to-back J1 League titles – not even something Postecoglou achieved during his time there, having already became the first F.Marinos manager to win the Japanese Super Cup at the start of the year.

F.Marinos are four points adrift of league-leading Vissel Kobe with five rounds remaining following last week’s 2-0 loss in the top-of-the-table battle.

The Japanese champions are also preparing for matchday two in the AFC Champions League and the opening leg of their J.League Cup semi-final against Urawa Reds.