Queen’s Park Rangers may soon be looking for a new manager, with current incumbent Michael Beale strongly linked with a return north of the border to Rangers.
The 42 year old was assistant manager to Steven Gerrard at the Scottish club and is widely credited with helping transform the Glasgow club back into title challengers again. The pair already had a strong relationship from having worked together in the Liverpool academy.
When Gerrard took up the Aston Villa job, Beale moved with him, but then felt that he was ready to step up into a manager’s role and took the job with the West London club.
Villa watchers argue that one of the reasons that Gerrard foundered this season and ultimately lost his job was because Beale was no longer by his side.
Certainly Beale’s progress is being watched with interest by a number of top clubs. Last month Wolverhampton Wanderers made a formal approach to him to become their next manager to succeed Bruno Lage, but he turned them down, claiming that he was committed to QPR.
He has made a fine start to life in West London, winning nine out of his first 18 games and briefly topping the table for a while. They are currently fourth in the table.
However, last weekend he was spotted at Ibrox in the crowd for the match between Rangers and their Scottish Premiership rivals Aberdeen.
It comes as intense speculation surrounds the future of Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Despite guiding the Scottish club to the final of the Europa League last campaign and winning the Scottish Cup, Rangers have had a difficult start to the season.
They already trail Celtic by four points in the league, and have just ensured a miserable Champions League campaign. They lost all six of their group matches and finished with a negative goal difference of minus 20. That makes them officially the worst team in the history of the competition.
If Rangers do decide to make a move for Beale, he may find it hard to turn down, given that he already knows many of the players at the club, and helped develop them. He is also likely to be welcomed back warmly by the Rangers supporters who are appreciative of what he and Gerrard managed in their time in Scotland.
And even if Beale again shows loyalty to the Championship club it seems a matter of when and not if, somebody dangles a job in front of him that he will find too good to turn down.