By George Overhill

26th Nov, 2022 | 7:35pm

Michael Beale will return to Rangers as their new manager with the announcement to be made soon, according to The 4th Official.

The QPR boss has apparently been in talks with the Light Blues for the past couple of days and is “eager” to embark on this “new challenge”.

Steven Gerrard’s former assistant had emerged as the favourite soon after Giovanni van Bronckhorst was sacked on Monday (21 November), with an official approach to the Loftus Road side made on Friday night.

And now the reliable online source T4O has revealed via Patreon that the deal is done, saying: “I can confirm it’s done. Michael Beale will be the new Rangers manager.

“I have confirmed with a couple of sources (both of whom I rate quite highly) and the deal is done.”

The squad return to training on Monday (28 November) so an appointment was hoped for this weekend, and it appears that is now set to be the case.

Rangers will pay QPR £1.5million compensation.

Decision made

It’s a gamble but it is a decisive one, as the man who is widely seen as the brains behind the Gerrard era that saw the club capture the 55th title will now be tasked with pushing for the 56th.

It isn’t going to be an easy job as the dominance over Celtic that had been established when he left with the former manager to Aston Villa has now gone.

The Gers are nine points behind in the title race and haven’t won a league Old Firm derby in the year since he departed.

He won’t have to wait long to do something about that, with the next meeting at Ibrox on 2 January, and if he wins that then he will immediately put to bed a good proportion of the doubts around his inexperience as a manager.

Since leaving Gerrard’s Villa to take over at QPR in the summer he has only managed 22 games, and with four defeats and a draw in his last eight Championship matches he needs to find some form as much as Rangers.

This is a crucial juncture for the short-term future of both the club and the Scottish Premiership, so with Ross Wilson apparently intent on landing Beale the fans will have to hope that he has got this decision right.

Beale’s affinity with the Bears appears to have trumped all other considerations, after he turned down Wolves last month and professed his loyalty to the Rs, but clearly Ibrox was too big to turn down.

In other Rangers news, Beale’s integrity has been questioned by a pundit who has major doubts over his return.