By George Overhill

23rd Nov, 2022 | 1:11pm

Kjetil Knutsen has “distanced himself” from the Rangers manager job as three other linked names were ruled out, according to the Daily Record.

Stewart Robertson and Ross Wilson are currently in London and apparently have as many as seven candidates in mind to replace Giovanni van Bronckhorst who was sacked on Monday (21 November).

But it appears that four coaches can now be ruled out, with Ralph Hasenhuttl, Kevin Muscat and Chris Wilder considered unrealistic options, and Knutsen apparently not interested.

Knutsen had been named as one of the three “frontrunners” on Monday afternoon by The 4th Official on Twitter, but looks to have fallen back.

The Daily Record report said: “Bodo Glimt manager Kjetil Knutsen has also distanced himself from the post.”

Of the other three names that appear to be out of the running it adds: “Hasenhuttl has been linked with the vacant Rangers job because Ibrox sporting director Ross Wilson had previously hired him at St Mary’s.

“But he will not be heading north and neither is Kevin Muscat likely to return to his former club.

“J-League-winning Yokohama F. Marinos boss Muscat and ex-Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder have both been linked but are unlikely to make the final cut.”

Beale or bust?

While the hierarchy clearly have various people in mind, it is starting to look like they might be struggling to fill their shortlist if they aren’t successful in negotiating Michael Beale out of QPR.

The Ibrox hot seat is a big job by any estimation, but if the men in charge of the football operations at the club zero in this obviously on the the former Steven Gerrard assistant they need to know they can complete the deal.

Various other names who might otherwise have been capable of doing a good job could be put off if they feel they were clearly not first choice.

Knutsen would have been an attractive candidate based on his recent ability to get the better of Celtic, with the Norwegian having beaten the Hoops home and away back in February as he dumped them out of the Europa Conference League.

Beale was part of a regime that knew how to come out on top in the Old Firm rivalry as well, but has seen his fortunes at Loftus Road take a downturn of late and remains inexperienced in his own right.

If he doesn’t arrive the likes of Sinisa Mihajlovic, Peter Bosz and Francesco Fariolo are all reportedly keen, but it is clear who the club have at the top of their list right now.

In other Rangers news, the club are now ready to spend big in the January window after a multi-million pound windfall.