Rangers manager Graeme Murty would not be surprised if the Scottish Football Association turned to Walter Smith to fill the national team's managerial vacancy.

Smith has emerged as a shock contender to replace Gordon Strachan after a tumultuous few weeks at Hampden which saw Stewart Regan step down as SFA chief executive following his failed pursuit of Michael O'Neill.

Smith retired when he left Rangers in 2011 and would be a controversial appointment given that he quit the Scotland job to take over at Ibrox for a second time.

But the 69-year-old's advice has proved invaluable to Murty in recent weeks after the former Scotland international stepped up to take interim charge of Rangers for the second time in eight months before securing the job until the summer at least.

Murty made two of his four Scotland appearances under Smith - both in the successful Kirin Cup campaign in Japan in 2006 - and the former Reading player was fulsome in his praise of his former boss.

"I think he's a fantastic man and a fantastic character," Murty said. "When you walked on to the football pitch with him as manager, you had clear understanding of what your role was, and the faith from a man of that stature made you walk on the pitch feeling great.

"I can't hold him in any higher regard and if Scotland were to look to him and ask him to take charge, that would be down to him but it wouldn't necessarily be a surprise."

Murty has gleaned no indication of the likelihood of Smith being willing to reprise his Hampden role from their recent conversations.

And, while he agrees Smith's experience and knowledge can be a major help to Scottish football, he understands there are different ways of imparting that know-how.

"Walter has lots to offer to lots of people," Murty said. "He tutors on the Pro-Licence and he's a fantastic sounding board to people that he works with and talks to.

"How that experience is used is down to different circumstances and it's all contextual.

"If the national team want him as their manager then they have to make that choice and make it clear and get it done. If not, then move on and appoint someone."