Rangers could find Steven Gerrard’s perfect heir at Ibrox after being mooted with a move for someone who’s already spent some time with the Gers in Glasgow.
Gerrard was formally announced as Aston Villa’s new boss after a successful two-and-a-half-year stint in Scottish football, leading to intense speculation over who will take over the reins.
The Sun journalist Bruce Archer took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon as doubts over Gerrard’s future grew, saying: “Think I’d go for Gio or Paulo Fonseca #RangersFC,” when addressing who he would appoint as his successor.
A report from the same outlet, meanwhile, claims the former defender is even keen on coming to Scotland.
While Fonseca would be an extremely intriguing option, Van Bronckhorst’s past experience with the Glasow giants could make him the ideal replacement.
The 46-year-old enjoyed a hugely successful playing career at both club and international level, making 106 appearances for the Netherlands and turning out for Feyenoord, Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona at left-back.
Van Bronckhorst won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and one League Cup during his three-year stay with the Gers between 1998 and 2001, before going on to claim further silverware in north London.
After joining the Gunners in a big-money move, he secured one Premier League title and two FA Cups with the capital club, and then also enjoyed two league title victories and one Champions League success at Barca and two Dutch Cups with Feyenoord.
He retired in 2010 having helped the Netherlands reach the World Cup final and was appointed as Ronald Koeman’s assistant manager at De Kuip a year later, eventually replacing his compatriot at the helm in 2015.
In just his first year in charge, Van Bronckhorst guided Feyenoord to the KNVB Cup and followed that triumph up by winning the Eredivisie in 2016/17.
It was the Rotterdam outfit’s first top-flight title in 18 years and they continued their quest for silverware by claiming the Dutch Cup once again in the subsequent campaign, illustrating his true credentials as a top-class manager.
The Dutchman’s fairytale time at his boyhood club came to an end in 2019, and when discussing Van Bronckhorst’s decision to leave Feyenoord, the club’s former technical director Martin van Geel lauded his work.
“Gio has done more than fantastic here and he continues to do well. So we would have liked to sit down with him next month, as planned, to start talking about any contract extension,” Van Gaal said.
“Gio is really someone who follows his heart and if he feels he wants to do something else after this season, we can only respect that. We are incredibly grateful to him, already, for the great contribution he has made to the club’s recent unprecedented successful period.”
A spell at Chinese outfit Guangzhou followed in 2020, but Van Bronckhorst has been out of work since, but judging by his previous accomplishments, he may well be the perfect heir to carry on Gerrard’s excellent work at Rangers.
Both as a manager and a player, he has a history of winning titles on a consistent basis. With that in mind, it feels like a match made in heaven for the trophy-hungry Gers.