Steven Gerrard is now the frontrunner to become the manager of Rangers and the job is his if he wants it, BBC Scotland has learned.
Contact has now been made between the Ibrox club and representatives of the former England and Liverpool captain.
Gerrard, 37, is a youth development coach at Anfield.
Graeme Murty, 43, has been in charge of Rangers since October and the club have other candidates on their shortlist – but Gerrard is the man they want.
If Gerrard agrees to take over, he would join his former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers in Glasgow, with the Northern Irishman on the verge of winning back-to-back domestic trebles with Celtic.
Speaking on Friday morning before Saturday’s home Premier League game against Stoke City, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said of Gerrard: “I am not worried.
“Whatever he wants to do we will support him in that. There is no decision. I can imagine clubs are interested in signing Stevie, [he has] massive experience as a player so I would think about him signing for a club. We will support him in all directions.”
Murty was interim manager before and after Pedro Caixinha’s brief spell as Rangers boss and the former Reading and Scotland defender was given the manager’s job until the end of the season in December.
His side are second in the Scottish Premiership – ahead of Aberdeen on goal difference – and visit Celtic Park on Sunday.
“There is always going to be speculation as this is a fantastic job,” Murty said on Friday. “As far as I am concerned and the players are concerned, [Sunday’s match against Celtic] is our biggest game of the season and we have to right a few wrongs.”