RANGERS are closing in on Southampton’s Ross Wilson as a replacement for Mark Allen as the club’s director of football, Herald and Times Sport understands.

The South Coast club’s respected head of football operations was the club’s top target for the position two and a half years ago but ultimately rebuffed the Ibrox side shortly after the arrival of Pedro Caixinha.

The departure of Allen due to ‘family reasons’, however, has left a vacancy in the position and Wilson is believed to have had productive talks with the Rangers hierarchy about filling the role.

Landing Wilson – who first came to prominence with his work blooding the likes of Scott Arfield at Falkirk - after ten years in various roles south of the border would go down as a major coup for Dave King.

Also having worked in England with Watford and Huddersfield, Wilson told Herald and Times Sport that staying at St Mary's in the wake of interest from Ibrox was the "hardest decision of his life" and said he was impressed with the developments at the club under Steven Gerrard and Allen.