CROWDS have gathered outside Ibrox as Rangers confirm Steven Gerrard is their new manager on a four-year deal.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers expressed his delight at the prospect of coming up against Gerrard next season.

Rodgers' side are going for an unprecedented successive treble and are unbeaten in 11 games against the Gers during a current spell of Old Firm domination.

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Speaking at Lennoxtown ahead of the trip to play Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday, the Northern Irishman said: "I haven't spoken to him, I left him be when I saw he was linked with it, he will obviously have his own thoughts on it.

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Kirsty Anderson/Herald & Times

"So I have let him be. But I am delighted for him because he has obviously had an incredible playing career, wanted to manage, wanted to coach and now he gets the opportunity to do that."

Rodgers added: "I am sure he will be looking forward to his first job and like I say, I am happy that he now enters into my world of coaching and managing.

"Obviously it's his first job. He will have an idea in relation in how he wants to work.

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"But as a guy he was ultra-professional, (he had) incredible qualities as a footballer.

"That level of professionalism all his career made him a great player so I am sure he will take all those attributes into management.

"But only over time will you see the identity of his teams, how he wants to work and play."

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Kirsty Anderson/Herald & Times

Rafael Benitez has backed his former Liverpool player Gerrard as he prepares to launch his managerial career at Rangers.

Benitez said: "First of all, I would say congratulations. It's always a challenge and for someone like him who loves football, it's an opportunity to show his level."

Rangers confirmed Gerrard's appointment, on a four-year deal, at 2pm with the release of a statement on their official website.

Gerrard said: "I am honoured to become the next manager of Rangers. I have enormous respect for this football club, and its history and tradition.

"I can't wait to start this new journey at Rangers as we look to build on the many successes that this club has achieved."

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Rangers said the club would make announcements on Gerrard's management team "in due course".

Chairman Dave King added: "We are delighted to confirm today that Steven Gerrard will become the next manager of Rangers.

"From the very beginning, talks have been extremely positive and we believe that Steven is the right man to drive Rangers forward.

"He was extremely impressive throughout our negotiations and we are convinced that he has the necessary knowledge and temperament to lead the club to the success we all desire.

"This a special day for our club, our fans and for Steven."

The club's director of football Mark Allen added: "From the moment we met with Steven to discuss this opportunity, we felt that his ambitions and desire to succeed equalled our own for the club.

"Make no mistake, Steven fully understands the demands that come with managing a club of this stature and we look forward to exciting times ahead."