RANGERS manager Mark Warburton has denied any level of disappointment at missing out on transfer target Scott Allan to Celtic and insists he is “more than happy” with the backing he has received from the Ibrox club’s board in building his squad.
Hibs rejected three offers from Rangers for Allan, the most recent a bid of £275,000 with a sell-on clause.
Our only focus is to make sure we act in a respectful, professional manner. We will always do thatMark Warburton
The Easter Road club insisted the 23-year-old midfielder would not be sold to their Championship rivals under any circumstances, despite boyhood Rangers fan Allan submitting a transfer request.
Celtic moved in on Thursday to strike a deal with Hibs for Allan, leaving Warburton to apparently question the depth of the player’s widely-reported desire to play for Rangers.
“No, I’m not disappointed,” claimed Warburton. “I only want players who want to be Rangers players – simple as that. It is a very simple situation for us.
“I’ve said it many times, I said it at my first press conference – we only want players who want to be at Rangers.
“If any player goes elsewhere, that’s fine. We wish any player well. But right now our only aim is to make sure we have players who want to be playing here at Ibrox.”
Asked if he felt there was any possibility Hibs would eventually have agreed to sell Allan to Rangers, Warburton was non-committal.
“I’m not sure,” he repled. “The nature of this game is that things are said and things change. Things happen for various reasons. From our point of view, we just move on.
“It’s not my business to talk about offers for other players. I said right the way through that he was a Hibs player and it is disrespectful to talk about another club’s players.
“Business is business, That’s the whole nature of it. We have to try and do the best for Rangers. Our only focus is to make sure we act in a respectful, professional manner. We will always do that.
“We have acted more than appropriately in everything we have done. We move forward from here. Other people’s stances and the approaches they take, that’s down to them.”
Rangers did complete the double loan signing from Tottenham of 20-year-old defender Dominic Ball and 19-year-old midfielder Nathan Oduwa this week, taking the number of first-team squad recruits made by Warburton to nine.
“I’m very happy with the backing I’ve received,” said Warburton. “The squad is taking shape. We will hopefully have brought in one or two more players by the time the window closes. We have made a radical overhaul of the squad.
“Don’t forget a lot of players went out in the summer, including loan signings as well.
“The players we have gone for, we have received great support and backing. I’m more than happy.
“We are very happy with the two who have come in this week. We will have another very exciting player coming in on loan next week who we are looking forward to working with. Then, from our point of view, we will be almost there in terms of the squad.
“We are looking for certain types of players and for cover around the park – players who are flexible in their positions.
“We have got that in the two boys from Spurs. In Dominic we have a boy who can play right or left centre-back or at full-back. In Nathan, we have a player comfortable in any of the attacking midfield positions.”
Warburton still intends to secure the signing of veteran former Derby County midfielder John Eustace, who has been training with the Rangers squad for the past six weeks following his recovery from a serious knee injury.
“John had a small setback this week, just because he had worked so hard to get up to speed with the rest of the group,” said Warburton.
“It’s just a case of getting the pace and the balance right with John. He is a very talented player and you’ll have seen the comments from others in the squad about how they have taken to him, how they are tapping into his experience.
“We are delighted with John, even with the role he is playing now. He has got so much to offer. It will be him and the other loan signing we intend to complete.”