The saga over the future of Rangers inched closer to resolution on Thursday after US businessman Bill Miller was named as the preferred bidder by the club's administrators.
Tow-truck tycoon Miller was battling a rival bid by the Blue Knights consortium but is now in pole position to secure a takeover after the decision by administrators Duff and Phelps.
Miller last month outlined plans for an £11.2 million bid for Rangers which would involve setting up an "incubator" company while Duff and Phelps continued to steer the club out of administration.
Joint administrator Paul Clark said in a statement on Rangers website that Ibrox staff had been informed of the latest news at a meeting earlier Thursday.
"We would like to thank all parties for their efforts in seeking to submit bids which preserve the long history and success of the club," Clark said.
"We are delighted to announce that today we have received an unconditional bid for the business and assets of Rangers Football Club plc from Mr Bill Miller which has been accepted in principle and he is now the preferred bidder.
"Mr Miller now proposes to complete his transaction by the end of the season."
Administrators were called in to Rangers on 14 February after British tax authorities went to court to seek payment of an unpaid bill that had built up since Whyte took charge at Ibrox in May.