World Cup 98: Rangers clear Smith for Wednesday move

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WALTER SMITH is expected to be named as Sheffield Wednesday's new manager today after the Ibrox club cleared the way for him to replace Ron Atkinson, writes Alan Nixon.

Smith had the option of staying at Rangers, where he was offered another role in conjunction with the new head coach, Dick Advocaat. However, Smith - who guided the Glasgow club to seven consecutive league titles and six domestic cups - chose to return to management and has already lined up moves for free agent Andy Goram and his former assistant, Archie Knox.

The Rangers vice-chairman, Donald Findlay, yesterday admitted that he was not surprised at Wednesday's interest in Smith. He said: "I haven't spoken to Walter for a while because he has been away in France at the World Cup, but there is a job here for him and as things stand. But if he wanted to go somewhere else, we would respect that. It is entirely his decision."