Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes should be allowed to talk to Rangers about their managerial vacancy, believes Dons legend Willie Miller.
McIness has held talks with chairman Stewart Milne after the club rejected a formal approach from Rangers.
“If there is a willingness from Derek to speak to them, it is difficult for the chairman to stand in his way, in my opinion,” Miller told BBC Scotland.
“The last thing you want is an unhappy manager at the club.”
Rangers are willing to pay in the region of £1m in compensation, but Aberdeen refused the Ibrox club permission to speak to McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty.
Both 46, they are contracted until 2020, having signed new deals in July. The pair were absent from Wednesday’s training at the Gordon Barracks in Bridge of Don, with first-team coach Barry Robson and Under-20s boss Paul Sheerin taking the session.
Aberdeen’s next Premiership game is away at Dundee on Friday. The club is scheduled to hold a pre-match media conference on Thursday at 13:00 GMT.
“For me, it is all about Derek and what he wants to do,” Miller continued. “If he wants to speak, then I think he should be allowed to talk to Rangers.
“We all know Rangers have had major issues and there are big financial questions to be answered at Ibrox. Derek would have to be convinced going forward that they have the funds to support what plans he would have to try to attempt to challenge Celtic, which is a huge task.
“If all the answers are right, then there is a good chance of him going. But if not, he has a nice, stable situation at Aberdeen. He knows the fans love him, he knows the directors hold him in high regard as well, and that should be in the back of his mind.
“Obviously there is an emotional attachment there, as an ex-Rangers player, which makes it different to Sunderland, where he was allowed to go and speak to them and make up his own mind whether it was the right move or not.”
Sunderland agreed compensation with Aberdeen for McInnes during the summer but the former St Johnstone and Bristol City manager chose to stay at Pittodrie after talks with the English Championship side.
‘A magnificent manager for Aberdeen’
If McInnes’ four-and-a-half year tenure as Dons boss is coming to an end, Miller – a former Aberdeen player and manager – believes it can be viewed as a “very good” period for the club.
“He has been a magnificent manager for them,” he added. “He has brought a trophy [the 2014 League Cup] back to the north-east as well, which was really important.
“Last season he was runner-up to Celtic in every competition and that will be niggling at him, that perhaps more trophies might have come to the club.
“But I think his term in charge – if it doesn’t last any longer than this week – has been a very successful one for him as a manager.
“It has rebuilt his reputation, it has given the fans something to cheer about and they have come out in numbers. It has been very successful financially for the club too.
“He is now in a situation where there is a bigger club – and Rangers are a big club, even though things haven’t been going particularly well in recent years, they do have the potential to be great again – have come knocking on the door. So I would imagine Derek would at least want to speak to Rangers and then make his own mind up.”
‘It seems like a good fit’
Rangers sacked Pedro Caixinha almost six weeks ago, with caretaker boss Graeme Murty leading them to four wins and two defeats in the interim.
McInnes, who has been at Pittodrie since March 2013, has emerged as their preferred candidate for the permanent position.
“For me it seems like a good fit,” former Rangers midfielder Ian McCall, the Ayr United manager, told BBC Sportsound.
“I know Rangers have had a lot of criticism for the delay, but it is a huge decision for them. It could be the biggest decision in Rangers’ history, given the number of titles Celtic are winning.
“I know Derek wants Rangers to do things properly. If Derek were to say yes, it would give you a real look at Rangers as a football club, because he will look at it forensically. If he says no, it would say something about Rangers, because he will look at every angle.”