Paul Mitchell

Currently working his notice at Tottenham - with his future destination unconfirmed - this 35-year-old former journeyman player is the new poster boy for this kind of role. Taken to Spurs by Mauricio Pochettino for his sterling work at Southampton, Mitchell has been mentioned in connection with Rangers but bigger fish are monitoring the situation.

Ross Wilson

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Ever since joining Falkirk as a lowly player liaison officer under John Hughes, Wilson's story has been a remarkable one. Helped put the structure in place which brought through the likes of Craig Sibbald and Scott Arfield at Falkirk, then had spells at Watford and Huddersfield. Brushed shoulders with Mitchell at Southampton, where he now works with the respected Les Reed to keep the South coast club's expert recruitment ticking over.

Stuart Webber

Replaced Wilson as director of football operations at high-flying Huddersfield, where he has been responsible for bringing in some excellent players and finding a hotly-tipped German coach in the form of David Wagner who has made them into unlikely contenders for promotion to the Premier League. Another man linked with the Rangers post but unlikely to jump ship now.

Read more: Director of football structure is way forward for Rangers - assuming he gets to choose the head coach, says Robbie Neilson

John Park

Like the rest of this list, had his failures as well as his successes - Park's included signings like Chris Killen and Mo Bangura - but the former Hibs recruitment guru also deserves the credit for huge deals like Victor Wanyama and Virgil van Dijk. Linked with Rangers prior to his appointment at Celtic, he has been associated with the post again since leaving Parkhead, and has previously worked with Alex McLeish. Also in demand at Vancouver Whitecaps.

Craig Levein

Stepped back from dual role of director of football and head coach at Tannadice and has since decided, sagely, that his skill set is best served dictating the overall strategy of a club. The Gary Locke affair proves that he can be ruthless when it comes to dispensing with both coaches and players but Hearts are well served by him.

Five who weren't quite so lucky ...

Joe Kinnear

At St James' Park for just seven months. Hardly signed a player, fell out with the fans, and pronounced players' names wrong.

Dennis Wise

Another Mike Ashley production, Wise fell out with Kevin Keegan and seemingly attended more Chelsea matches than Newcastle ones.

Damien Comolli

Harsh to put this guy here considering he has signed Gareth Bale and Luka Modric for Spurs and Luis Suarez for Liverpool. But sanctioned all the Dalglish-era arrivals at Anfield and £35m on Andy Carroll may have been the final straw.

Read more: Director of football structure is way forward for Rangers - assuming he gets to choose the head coach, says Robbie Neilson

Franco Baldini

Former sporting director at Spurs was blamed for squandering £85m in 'Bale money' on the likes Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Etienne Capoue. Christian Eriksen was a good one, mind you.

Sir Clive Woodward

Arrived at St Mary's as a hugely respected World Cup winner, but his three years on the south coast - first as performance director alongside a feisty Harry Redknapp, then director of football to George Burley - did little for his legend.