Philippe Clement has warned Wayne Rooney to keep his hands off Jack Butland as he vowed to build a team around the English keeper.
After his former England team-mate was appointed as Birmingham City’s new gaffer, reports emerged from down south suggesting he wanted Butland as the Blues’ new No.1. That would be a body blow to Rangers fans who have already hailed the keeper as the perfect replacement for club legend Allan McGregor. Butland – who was on loan at Manchester United last term – has already made 41 saves this season in the Premiership and Europe.
And Clement has warned off Rooney or other potential suitors, saying Butland is at Ibrox to stay. He said: “For sure, I’m really happy with Jack being here. Not only on the pitch with his performances but also outside and in the dressing room. In the way he works, the way he acts and his personality. Jack is going to be one of the key figures for me to build a team around for the next couple of years, definitely.”
Meanwhile, Clement has dropped a heavy hint that Alex Rae will become a permanent part of his Rangers coaching staff. The Ibrox boss will finalise his backroom team in the New Year having already appointed Stephan Van Der Heyden as his assistant. Clement said: “We’ve had good talks with the staff who are here about what our expectations are in every role.
It’s starting to become clear to me, the different profiles. They’re still on an interim basis right now and they know that. But Alex is someone who knows the history of the club really well. That’s an important thing for me, to have people on the staff who know the club and the people within it.
“Is it possible that he could stay on in the long term? If it wasn’t possible, he wouldn’t be here any more. It’s just like with players. We need to find a really good mix of people.