RANGERS will meet the compensation fee required to land Derek McInnes as their new boss.
The 46-year-old has been identified as the man the Ibrox board want to succeed Pedro Caixinha in the dugout.
A Dons statement read: “Aberdeen Football Club has announced this evening that Rangers have contacted the Club asking for permission to speak to Derek McInnes and that permission has been refused.”
It is almost six weeks since Caixinha was sacked after a poor start to the campaign but Rangers are now keen to appoint his successor sooner rather than later.
And a deal for McInnes remains on the cards despite the Dons rebuffing an approach for his services.
Rangers are aware that a package of just under £1million will be needed to secure McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty and have made it clear to Pittodrie chiefs that they are willing to meet the financial demands.
It is understood that the Gers opted to do the honourable thing and wait until after the Premiership double-header with Aberdeen last week before making an official approach for the Reds boss.
And the risk paid off as interim manager Graeme Murty led his side to a 3-0 win at Ibrox and 2-1 success at Pittodrie as the Light Blues climbed to second place in the Premiership.
Speaking after the match on Sunday, McInnes stated he was ‘not happy with how things have been played out’ following several weeks of talk about his future.
Pittodrie chief Stewart Milne claimed last month that his manager had ‘no intention of going anywhere’ amid talk of interest from Rangers and West Bromwich Albion.
But Rangers have now tested the Dons’ resolve after making a formal move to make McInnes their new boss.
Chairman Dave King provided an update to supporters at the Annual General Meeting last Thursday and vowed that the next man at the helm would be given funds to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.