By Daniel Lewis

19th Sep, 2023 | 9:06pm

Giovanni van Bronckhorst snubs BBC Scotland interview as ex-Rangers manager spotted at Celtic clash v Feyenoord

Former Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst declined a request for an interview from BBC Scotland while in attendance at a Celtic match, according to reporter Martin Dowden.

Van Bronckhorst was at De Kuip on Tuesday [19 September] as another of his former sides in Feyenoord took on Celtic in the opening round of Champions League group-stage games.

Dowden was unsuccessful in his attempt to get the Dutchman to talk publicly when approaching him ahead of the contest.

“I just had a brief exchange with the former Rangers and Feyenoord manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst who is in attendance,” Dowden said on BBC Sport‘s live blog of the game [19 September, 19:15]

“While politely declining a request for a quick BBC Scotland interview, it struck me he seemed to look about five years younger! He was all smiles looking as though he didn’t have a care in the world.

“Some time away from the thrills and spills of management looks to be paying off.”

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Van Bronckhorst has largely positive European memories of his time with Rangers, having famously guided the club to the Europa League final in May 2022.

The Gers lost that match to Eintracht Frankfurt, but they did beat Hearts 2-0 a few days later in the Scottish Cup final for their first such trophy since 2009.

The less said about the following season’s Champions League group campaign the better, with six successive losses paving the way for his exit 10 months ago.

Van Bronckhorst has yet to return to management, but the fact he is in attendance at matches suggests he is getting his face around.

And the fact he is looking five years younger tells you pretty much all you need to know about the stress that comes with managing Rangers, even if it is only for 12 months.

In other Rangers news, current Gers boss Michael Beale could axe a player for the Europa League tie with Real Betis after his performance last time out.