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Robertson: Hunt for Allen's successor at Rangers under way

The Ibrox managing director says the departure of his director of football was unexpected.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has said the departure of Mark Allen came as a surprise but the process of recruiting a new director of football is under way.

Allen left the club suddenly in early September, citing family reasons and a wish to consider explore "other options".

Robertson said at the time it was a blow to lose the man who had overseen three transfer windows that had overhauled the playing squad, and had played a part in bringing Steven Gerrard to Ibrox as manager.

He also said the search for a replacement was under way and the club was being methodical in finding the right person.

Robertson, who was speaking at the launch of a partnership with Indian side Bengaluru FC, told STV: "We're looking at the market.

"We'll take our time to make sure that we get the right individual in to replace Mark.

"It's fortunate that it happens at the end of the summer transfer window, which is the main transfer window. So from that perspective we're not rushing into anything so we'll take our time and get the right man for the job."

Rangers announced a partnership with Bengaluru.
Rangers announced a partnership with Bengaluru. SNS Group

He conceded Allen's departure came out of the blue but said that he could also understand the reason.

"Yes, [it was a surprise] but he's been away from his family for two years and it's an intense job," he said.

"Mark put his heart and soul into it in the time that he was here. And he made a lot of positive changes in the football department.

"But I can understand that ultimately it's hard being away from your family. It was a surprise though.

Robertson was asked if he would now turn his attention to candidates that were considered before Allen's appointment but he said a wider approach would be taken before identifying the right name.

"We'll look at the whole market and see who is available," he said.

"The club's in a different place from two years ago in terms of profile and after two good European runs.

"We're just assessing the market, we're getting agents and other people sending us CVs.

"We'll take our time, let the dust settle and then make the appropriate appointment at the right time."

Robertson also said talks were progressing on extending the contracts of Ryan Jack and Nikola Katic, rewarding them for recent performances.

"We're moving those forward," he said. "We'll get them done in due course. There's no rush to do them because they have plenty of time left on their contracts.

"We'll hopefully get them done sooner, rather than later."

And he welcome the return of Ryan Kent on a permanent deal, saying the significant outlay was a sign of the club's ambition.

"We've done the deal with Liverpool and we're delighted to have Ryan here," he said. "Sometimes these deals take time to get done and this one took a wee while to get done but we're delighted he is here.

"It's a sign of the club's ambition and where we want to be. We've had fantastic support from the fans , financially and vocally.

"But it's an indication of where the board and investors want to get the club to.

"We've made progress but there's still progress to go."

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