ON Monday afternoon Rangers confirmed that Allan McGregor had agreed a contract extension, keeping him at Ibrox until 2023.

The 40-year-old club legend was expected to retire this summer, when the one-year extension he signed in 2021 ended. After replacing Jon McLaughlin in the Scottish Cup Final against Hearts for the game’s final minutes, it appeared as though he was bidding the Rangers support farewell.

However, McGregor refused to reveal whether he would retire when speaking to RangersTV after the final.

"Of course, it will look like [my final game]", he said after the late substitution.

"If I was watching it would look like that to me as well. But I've not thought about it [my contract]. There have been games every week. All I've thought about is the next game and recovery. Now that the season is finished I will talk to the club, they're easy to talk to and they know me. We will see what is best for both parties."

In early June, the Rangers Review reported that while both club and player were open to discussing a new contract, talks had not yet taken place with McGregor still on holiday and out of the country.

As we revealed last week, talks commenced once that holiday was over. McGregor did not want to pursue a reported player/coach role and wasn't considering a move to the Middle East despite suggestions of a lucrative contract offer.

The Rangers Review understands that Giovanni van Bronckhorst was influential in retaining McGregor’s services. The manager refused to drop his No.1 after a string of costly errors last season and while McLaughlin was favoured in the Scottish Cup, he never usurped McGregor for important Premiership or Europa League fixtures.

READ MORE: Inside Rangers' stunning Connor Goldson contract coup and why he remained at Ibrox

van Bronckhorst wants next season’s squad to boast a healthy mixture of youth and experience. The manager has given opportunities to Alex Lowry, Leon King and Charlie McCann, while Craig Mulholland explained last week that Sporting Director Ross Wilson’s strategy at the club outlines a constant place for academy players in the first team.

In 2017, Van Bronckhorst won Feyenoord’s first league title since 1999 with a spine of experience. 36-year-old Dirk Kuyt proved an influential up top, 32-year-old Karim El-Ahmadi was a constant in midfield and 35-year-old Brad Jones ever-present in goal.

On the evidence of McGregor staying, alongside 37-year-old Steven Davis and 33-year-old Scott Arfield, it appears the Dutchman is opting for a similar squad profile in Glasgow.

“Allan brings us invaluable experience and leadership both on and off the pitch, and I am really pleased he has chosen to stay with us for another year,” the manager commented.

“I have been really impressed with the positive influence he has on our players, and also the dedication he has shown to still be a valuable asset for us in a playing-sense at the age of 40.”

McGregor is viewed as the ultimate professional by Rangers, something his longevity at elite level football confirms. He is regarded to be a key figure at the club given his influence around the training ground.

The role he will fulfil in the squad next season remains unknown. When McGregor agreed a new contract following Rangers’ title win in 2021, his position as No.1 appeared undisputed. However, McLaughlin signed a new two-year deal earlier this year and has previously vocalised his desire to become Rangers' No.1.

“Of course, I want to play, I want to become a first-choice regular at this club,” he said in February.

“That’s my aim. It’s not a case of trying to replace someone or take someone’s place. If Allan was to stay at the club, I would be delighted. It’s not a case of knowing what Allan’s plans are for the future, it’s a case of knowing I’m at a great football club. It’s a place I’m happy playing my football. I can see a good future for myself here, regardless of who else is in the building.”

McLaughlin is also more comfortable with the ball at his feet and commands his penalty box in a more dominating fashion than McGregor, whose reluctance to move off his line was highlighted at points last season.

Goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart said he predicted a “healthy competition for places” with McGregor, McLaughlin and Robby McCrorie all under contract ahead of the new campaign.

“I’m delighted that Allan has extended his contract at the club. This season we have a really strong goalkeeping squad at the club,” he added.

McGregor, in his second spell at Ibrox, is Rangers’ record European appearance holder and has turned out 469 times for the club. Arguably his most impressive season arrived at the most important of times, with the keeper recording 25 clean sheets and winning ‘Player of the Year’ as Steven Gerrard’s Rangers won club’s 55th league title.

Last season featured tumultuous moments and memorable performances. He impressed in the Europa League, making notable stops against Sparta Prague, Red Star Belgrade and RB Leipzig on route to Seville, while also comitting previously uncharacteristic mistakes against Hearts, Motherwell and Ross County most notably.

Given his age and last season’s events, retirement appeared the obvious path following Rangers’ Europa League Final defeat. However, after a time of reflection McGregor thought different.

“I had a couple of weeks’ holiday and really thought about it and spoke to a lot of people about it, and everybody said to play as long as you can,” he said.

“After the break, that’s what I was thinking myself.”

Van Bronckhorst's desire for experience within his squad is clear, even if McGregor's specific role at the club is not.

Based on social media reaction, if he is to keep his spot as No.1, McGregor will have to convince some that this season is not a step too far, a feat he has achieved in the past.