Bookies make Norwich City boss Alex Neil favourite to become new Rangers manager

Alex Neil, pictured at Carrow Road last night watching Norwich City U23s beat Dinamo Zagreb II 6-0,

Alex Neil, pictured at Carrow Road last night watching Norwich City U23s beat Dinamo Zagreb II 6-0, is being linked with the vacant Rangers job. Picture by Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd

Bookmakers have this afternoon surprisingly installed Norwich City boss Alex Neil as favourite to become the new manager of Scottish giants Rangers.

The Scottish Premiership side parted company with Mark Warburton earlier this month, which has led to former Canaries U18s coach Graeme Murty taking up the reins on a caretaker basis.

Former Gers boss Alex McLeish has been consistently linked with the vacancy, as has former club captain Barry Ferguson, alongside available managers including Alan Pardew and Gary Rowett.

Norwich assistant Alan Irvine was linked with the job last week, which Neil laughed off as pure speculation on Friday, but now the bookies have turned their attention to the City boss.

Sky Bet are offering odds of 5/4 for the 35-year-old to take over at Ibrox, amid hopes of a play-off place beginning to tail off for the Canaries.

William Hill, Betfred, Bet Victor and Paddy Power have all also installed the former Hamilton boss as favourite, despite his odds being as long as 12/1 earlier in the day.

Media sources north of the border suggest the bookies are wide of the mark and that Neil is not on the Gers' shortlist.

The Scot was at Carrow Road last night to watch City's under-23s beat Dinamo Zagreb II and spoke of his belief that a play-off place could still be achieved following Sunday's costly 1-1 home draw with bitter rivals Ipswich.

However, Neil has come in for heavy criticism from supporters this season as his team have struggled to keep pace in the promotion race.

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After replacing Neil Adams in January 2015 he inspired Norwich to promotion glory via the Championship play-off final at Wembley but then couldn't prevent Premier League relegation.

Prior to that he had led Hamilton to promotion to the Scottish Premiership and also achieved the Accies' first victory at Celtic in 76 years.

Rangers are third in the Scottish top flight, 33 points adrift of champions-elect Celtic and nine behind second-placed Aberdeen, as the club continues its recovery from a perilous financial situation that saw them demoted to Division Three in 2013.