THE long list became a short list for Ross Wilson. Over time, it was narrowed down to just one name.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was the candidate that was on the lips of the Rangers support for a week and now he has a chance to hear the Ibrox roar once again.

The days in the aftermath of Steven Gerrard's departure were long, but the process that has resulted in Wilson appointing his first manager at Rangers has ultimately been a successful one.

Van Bronckhorst returns to Glasgow with a track record that speaks for itself. Now his side will have to do their talking on the park as the champions aim to defend their Premiership crown.

"I don’t think I’d say that he was the obvious candidate," Wilson said. "We’ve gone into a process and throughout that process he’s made it abundantly clear that he’s a great fit for Rangers.

“Obviously someone that knows the club, which wasn’t a pre-requisite for the job, I’ve got to say that.

“But the fact that he knows the club, and not only that, that he’s excited about Rangers, knows and is excited about the squad, has prove himself with some fantastic work at Feyenoord over in Rotterdam, a club that has high expectations but probably weren’t expected tow in what they won with five trophies during his tenure there.

“We know how he works on the grass. I’ve followed him for a period of time, I’m very friendly with Ronald Koeman from my time at Southampton and I followed Gio since he became part of Ronald’s staff.

“Ronald used to tell me about him at Southampton and his potential as a coach. He’s absolutely realised that.

“He’s someone who wants to coach the players, who wants to improve the players and to work with the team every day.

“He’s a fantastic person as well, a real value fit to Rangers. Of course, our supporters know him and know him well from his hugely successful time here as a player.

“There were so many things - opportunities for young players, belief in young players - that he definitely feels like someone who is aligned to guys and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to join us soon."

The deal to appoint Gerrard's successor was not put together quite as quickly as the one that took the Englishman back to the Premier League as he clinched a move to Aston Villa last week.

But there was still an efficiency about the way in which Rangers went about their business as Wilson narrowed his search and was able to conclude a move to bring van Bronckhorst back to Glasgow.

Succession planning is a key part of his sporting director remit and that process has paid dividends for Rangers as they now move from one era into another at Ibrox.

Wilson said: "We want to be a modern, forward-thinking football club. We’ve got to prepared. I’m not just talking about the Rangers manager’s position here, we’ve got to be prepared in a number of positions.

"We’ve got to know where talented people are, who might join us on our journey in the future.

"For sure, being prepared is important and allows us to move quickly and decisively.

"As much as we wanted to move quickly and decisively, we certainly weren’t going to move recklessly and we certainly weren’t going to appoint someone without going through a proper rigorous process.

"I think that also gives the candidates and the future Rangers manager huge confidence that this is a proper, serious club.

"We know the type of people we want to work for Rangers in many different roles. We know what the profile looks like and being prepared certainly helps.

"In terms of the manager’s position, of course time will tell how strong the process has been because we all know the demands of this club.

"But we are all absolutely excited that Gio is going to be the man working with us and leading everything that’s going to be going on on the pitch."

The international break would prove to be a help and a hindrance to Rangers as they lost one manager but were able to bring on board another in between domestic fixtures.

Van Bronckhorst will not be in the dugout for the Premier Sports Cup semi-final with Hibernian this weekend but the Ibrox squad have been kept up to speed with the progress of Wilson's hunt and deal-making.

"In terms of my interactions during the week, I’ve addressed the squad twice this week," Wilson told RangersTV. "They’re a great bunch to work with. I enjoy working with them every day.

"From the captain throughout all the squad, we’ve kept them totally updated on what we’re doing, where we’re going, obviously whilst respecting the confidence of the process.

"I wanted to make sure they were totally aligned. Probably the only mistake I made was that I decided to phone every single player and every single member of staff last week.

"It was a long list of phone calls to make. Once I was four or five in, I was quickly regretting that.

"But I thought it was important, in all seriousness, to make sure that all of our staff felt connected to the decision-making process, to the news that was going to be breaking all around them.

"But we’ve got a strong staff and support team in place that has done a fine job this week.

"And we thank them for that. I know that they and the players are looking forward to Sunday."