By Callum O'Connell

17th Sep, 2023 | 12:10pm

John Eustace confirms whether he's interested in Rangers job amid Birmingham City exit speculation

Birmingham City manager John Eustace has dismissed reports linking him with the Rangers job and insisted he wants to remain at Birmingham, despite claims he could be the man to replace Michael Beale.

Eustace’s Birmingham side have enjoyed a promising start to the season, leading to the boss being linked with the high-profile Rangers job, but he has dismissed rumours as just being speculation.

Beale has come under intense pressure since his Rangers side suffered a heavy defeat to PSV in the Champions League, which was followed by an abject 1-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox.

As reported by the print edition of the Football League Paper [17 September, pg 4], Eustace commented on the links, saying: “It’s all speculation. I’m not interested in any other job than Birmingham City. I’m very, very happy here.

“I came here 14 months ago and I signed a three-year deal to try to help grow the club, to build this fantastic football club to back where it should be.

“We’re coming up to halfway in doing that. I think there’s been great progress and I want to continue with that progress and see this club fly.

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“There have been some ups and downs but I think everyone can see that we’re going in the right direction, and I want to be here for as long as the club want me.”

Gers will have to keep their options open

With Eustace having comprehensively distanced himself from the job links, while reports also emerged that former Chelsea boss Graham Potter had also turned down the opportunity [The Sun, 13 September], Rangers will now have to keep their options open in case they pull the trigger.

There is, of course, the possibility that Beale can turn things around at Ibrox despite a frankly disastrous beginning to the season. While it will be an uphill struggle for the Englishman, if he starts turning in positive results in the coming week there will be no reason to dismiss him.

However, it’s crucial that Rangers are prepared and have their next man pretty much lined up to take over immediately if they do decide to call an end to Beale’s time at Ibrox.

It will be disappointing to hear the Birmingham boss so openly dismiss the move, but his early season success in the West Midlands will have him and his squad riding on a high, so it was always going to be difficult to tempt him into a significantly harder job.

In other Rangers news, a BBC journalist has suggested what he sees as the next big test at Ibrox.