McCoist set for budget talks as Rangers pursue Clark

Nicky Clark: 'Fantastic' scoring record. Picture: SNS
Nicky Clark: 'Fantastic' scoring record. Picture: SNS
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RANGERS manager Ally McCoist hopes to have a clearer idea of his budget for next season when he holds talks with the Ibrox board next week, although he revealed yesterday that Queen of the South’s prolific striker Nicky Clark is already a transfer target.

McCoist was scheduled to meet interim chief executive Craig Mather yesterday, before a planned summit with the rest of the directors in the coming days, as he seeks to strengthen his squad. McCoist has already admitted fears that the budget promised to him by Charles Green could be reduced after the Yorkshireman resigned last month. But he is continuing to push ahead with rebuilding plans after confirming his interest in Clark, as well as taking Argentine defender Cristian Trombetta on trial.

McCoist said: “I know Craig has been speaking to Brian Stockbridge, the financial director. I’m seeing Craig today and I’m seeing Craig and the rest of the board on Monday. We are certainly having meetings to speed up the process in terms of knowing what the budget is and what players we can bring in to strengthen the squad. We are moving in that direction.”

McCoist has held talks with Clark’s representative and his father, former Rangers forward and current Palmerston assistant Sandy, about a switch to Ibrox next season. He now hopes to meet with the player, who has netted an impressive 40 goals for the Irn-Bru Second Division champions this season. He said: “I’ve spoken to Nicky’s agent and I’ve spoken to his father, who I know reasonably well, just to let them know that we have an interest in talking to Nicky and meeting up with him and seeing if there is a possibility of him coming to the club.

“His goalscoring record is fantastic and we certainly need strengthening in forward areas, as we do all over the park.”

With the club currently under a transfer embargo, McCoist is restricted to registering free agents from 1 September and must wait until January 2014 to sign new players. He had hoped to confirm a couple of players on pre-contract agreements this week but is still waiting for those deals to be finalised. He added: “It’s not likely today but I am still very hopeful in the near future that we can get some good news out in terms of new faces coming to the club.”

Former Rangers striker Nacho Novo has publicly stated a desire to return to the club next season when his deal with Huesca ends this summer. The Spaniard is set to take part in Monday’s legends match against Manchester United and hopes to convince McCoist to sanction his Rangers comeback. “I’m pretty open about it,” said the manager. “I haven’t seen the wee man but I’ll get a chance to see him on Monday and see how he is looking and we’ll have a chat with him.”

Rangers bring down the curtain on their season in the Third Division today when Berwick come calling in the final game and the champions lift the trophy. McCoist said: “I’ll be excited, relieved, happy. I’m really looking forward to seeing big Lee McCulloch lifting the trophy because, no matter what anybody says, that was the objective at the start of the season. Our team has thoroughly deserved to win the championship and they deserve to celebrate with their fans.”