Derek McInnes is to remain as Aberdeen manager after Rangers failed to prise him away from Pittodrie.
Rangers had an approach for McInnes rebuffed on Tuesday but the Aberdeen boss and assistant Tony Docherty missed training on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss their future with chairman Stewart Milne.
But in a statement, the Dons said: “Following weeks of speculation, Aberdeen Football Club can confirm that the management team of Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty will be remaining at Pittodrie.”
It is the second time in six months that McInnes has opted against leaving Pittodrie, after he also turned down Sunderland before signing a new three-year contract.
He now says his focus is squarely on the Dons as it was confirmed he will be back in the dugout for Friday night’s clash with Dundee.
McInnes said: “I’ve had a lot to consider over the last couple of days and I appreciate it’s been a testing time for everyone, including my family, and I’m pleased to be now totally focusing on purely on on-the-field matters.”
Milne said last month that he was confident McInnes was going nowhere as Rangers’ interest intensified. But while he refused Ibrox chiefs permission to open talks with his boss, he revealed he did give McInnes time to think over his future.
Milne said: “As everyone is aware, Rangers made an approach on Tuesday evening and they were refused permission to speak with Derek.
“I spoke with Derek who felt it was a major thing to be considered for the managerial position at a club such as Rangers and we agreed that he could have some time to think about the approach and talk it through with his family.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been in constant dialogue with Derek and having weighed up the opportunity, he has taken the decision to remain as Aberdeen FC manager. Derek has also been maintaining close contact with (coach) Paul Sheerin ahead of tomorrow’s game at Dundee.
“Derek appreciates all that he has at this club and feels he wants to keep driving the club forward. This is where he wants to be and he feels he very much has unfinished business with Aberdeen FC.
“I personally am delighted that Derek has decided to remain with the club and everyone looks forward to putting the speculation of the past few weeks behind us and concentrating on matters on the park starting at Dens tomorrow evening.”
McInnes’ decision leaves Rangers back at square one. It took them almost six weeks after sacking Pedro Caixinha before finally requesting permission to speak to their former midfielder McInnes, who spent five years at Ibrox from 1995 to 2000, but they will now have to return to the drawing board.
Under-20s boss Graeme Murty, who oversaw back-to-back victories over McInnes’ side last week, will now be expected to take charge when Rangers host Ross County on Saturday.