Steven Gerrard would only leave Rangers if “Liverpool, Manchester United, or Arsenal” wanted to make him their manager, says Alex Miller.
Miller was assistant boss at Liverpool while Gerrard was captain at Anfield, and represented Rangers as a player.
And he expects his former club to finish above Aberdeen – who they face on Sunday – this term and “go above Celtic” within two seasons.
“Rangers will mount a challenge to Celtic,” he told BBC Scotland.
“And if you make a go of the Rangers job, why would you leave? It would need to be Liverpool, Manchester United, or Arsenal.”
Miller’s belief is fuelled by the recruitment done by Gerrard and director of football Mark Allen over the summer.
So far, 10 players have been signed, and of a different profile to what was already at Ibrox.
“Rangers will be some machine if Stevie can get them going,” former St Mirren, Hibs and Aberdeen manager Miller said.
“He felt he had too many of the same type of player when he came in. Too small. Nice footballers, but Rangers needed a bit of height and strength. Now they have a better squad and are better equipped.
“They don’t have enough to win the Premiership, but they have more about them than Aberdeen. They will finish ahead of everyone bar Celtic.”
Driven Gerrard leads by example
Miller, who was assistant to Scotland manager Craig Brown before fulfilling the same role for Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, coached Gerrard for several seasons.
He describes him as “driven” but also “quiet and unassuming”.
“He was the captain but he wasn’t a shouter or a bawler” Miller said. “He was meticulous and the players could see how hard he worked and followed his example.”
Miller recalls a story about an incident when a young fan was sentenced to 15 years in jail in Bulgaria after being accused of throwing a brick at another man.
The supporter’s mother argued her son was innocent and asked Gerrard for financial help in fighting the case. The Liverpool captain then demanded £2,000 each from the first-team squad, which allowed the family to hire lawyers to fight the conviction.
“That’s the type of guy he is,” Miller said. “He’ll make decisions and that’s exactly what Rangers need.
“I spoke to him when he got the job. Gary McAllister [Gerrard’s assistant] can tell him what can unfold if Rangers are not doing well, but they will compete.”