Rangers manager Graeme Murty isn’t surprised to see Walter Smith being linked with a return to the Scotland dugout, he is only shocked that it took the Scottish Football Association so long to talk to him.

Former Rangers boss Smith enjoyed two trophy-laden spells in charge of the Ibrox club, and previously managed his country for a three-year spell that ended when he returned to Rangers in 2007.

Despite not working in football since stepping down from the club in 2011, the 69-year-old is understood to have been earmarked for a sensational return as manager of the national side.

"I'm not surprised,” said Murty. “I think he has been and is an outstanding candidate for any job that comes up.

“If anything, I am a little surprised it's taken them this long, but I am not surprised that his name has been thrown in the hat, and if he does take the job he will have everyone's backing from this football club because he is an absolute legend for Scotland and Rangers.”

Murty, who played under Smith for Scotland, revealed in December that he has met with his former boss, but he says that the Rangers icon hasn’t given anything away over whether he has a desire to work in football once again.

"It never comes up because he's busy talking about his kids or the issues of the day,” he said.

“If he does return, he will have thought long and hard about it, and I think it will be a good move. He will get the full backing of everyone that knows him. He's a top, top man and I cannot speak highly enough of him.

“In my experience of playing for him and of talking to him, his knowledge of the game is vast, very deep and I am very, very hopeful he would be a success if he took it."

What impressed Murty most about working under Smith was the way that he made his players feel before they went out onto the pitch, making them believe they could do anything.

"His faith in you and his clarity [impressed me most],” Murty said. “He wouldn't put you in a situation he didn't think you could handle, but he would tell you everything that you needed to know to handle the situation and then trust you to get on with it.

“He played me at wing back, taught me everything I needed to know and off you go. The feeling when you walked out on to a pitch was great.

"The guy's got an aura about him. He just has. When you are walking down the corridor here he's just got an aura about him. That comes hard won with a lot of experience, a lot of games, a lot of knowledge, he's incredibly humble also. You know the depth of his knowledge, you know the depth of his love for this club, you know the depth of love for his country. For me I am not really surprised."

And Murty doesn’t believe that Smith’s prolonged absence from top-level football would be a problem were he to be appointed to the Scotland job once again.

"Not for me, but I am not making the decision, you would have to ask the guys who are making the decisions, that's up to them,” he said.

“If they choose him, they would have done their due diligence and made the decision they think is best."