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Rangers grant coach Roy Makaay compassionate leave due to family health issue

Rangers coach Roy Makaay has been given compassionate leave (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers coach Roy Makaay has been given compassionate leave (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Roy Makaay has been granted compassionate leave by Rangers due to a family health issue.

The 47-year-old Dutchman, coach at Ibrox under fellow countryman Giovanni van Bronckhorst, has been missing from the technical area in recent Champions League games against Ajax and Napoli.

The Light Blues confirmed that the former Netherlands striker has been handed time off and will be given club support during that period.

A Rangers spokesperson said: “Roy Makaay is dealing with a family health issue. We are all supporting him and hope to welcome him back soon.”

Coaches Dave Vos and Ceri Bowley will continue to assist manager Van Bronckhorst as the Light Blues prepare for the cinch Premiership game against Dundee United at Ibrox on Saturday, the last match before September’s international break.

Former Deportivo La Coruna, Bayern Munich and Feyenoord forward Makaay joined the club in November 2021, when Van Bronckhorst took over from Steven Gerrard, who departed for Aston Villa.

Makaay worked under Van Bronckhorst at Feyenoord, the duo having been team-mates with the Dutch national side.

Rangers return to domestic duty after two Champions League losses – 4-0 to Ajax in Amsterdam and 3-0 at home to Napoli – following a 4-0 defeat to Old Firm rivals Celtic at Parkhead.

A fourth successive reverse against United is unthinkable for Rangers fans who saw an improved performance against Napoli but who realise the magnitude of 11 goals against and none scored in three games, while sitting five points off leaders Celtic at the top of the league with only six fixtures played.

For the visit of the Serie A leaders, Van Bronckhorst brought back Alfredo Morelos for his first start since March after leaving the Colombia striker out of his squad due to fitness issues and attitude and he performed well until replaced by Antonio Colak, who had been leading the line previously.

That is just one selection dilemma for Van Bronckhorst who is under the spotlight.

An injury to this season’s number-one goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin meant 40-year-old Allan McGregor returned between the sticks against Napoli and he saved a re-taken penalty after keeping out the first effort, during an impressive performance.

The nature and extent of McLaughlin’s injury is not known but if fit, Van Bronckhorst will have to consider whether to keep McGregor in his side for a match where three points to end a dismal run of form is vital.