Rangers line up new midfielder

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has identified a midfielder he hopes to sign in the transfer window. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has identified a midfielder he hopes to sign in the transfer window. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

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Rangers manager Mark Warburton has identified a signing target of “outstanding pedigree” he believes can resolve his team’s midfield issues in the second half of the season. Warburton hopes to secure the overseas-based player on a loan deal when the transfer window opens next month.

Rangers slipped to their third league defeat of the season and dropped to third place in the Premiership table when they lost 2-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.

Warburton feels his team’s form has been adversely affected by the absence for various periods of four of the midfield players he recruited in the summer. Niko Kranjcar, Jordan Rossiter and Josh Windass have all suffered injuries, while Joey Barton left following internal disciplinary proceedings.

Now Warburton has found the individual he wants to strengthen that department, although he admits concern over whether Rangers can see off competition from others to land the player in question.

“I can’t tell you who he is, but what I can tell you is there are three or four other clubs in for the same player,” said Warburton.

“He has got an outstanding pedigree and we are trying to get hold of him. He is an overseas player, playing at a very high level. We hope we can get him.

“From our point of view, we have tried a few and they have fallen through for various reasons. It would be a loan deal. If it comes down to the money, we won’t get this player, so therefore we have got to offer something different.

“That’s my fear. Because if our hand is shown, we will lose this player, 100 per cent. I hope it is one who will excite the fans. A few of them won’t have heard of him, but when you look at his pedigree, it will start to excite the fans. We know very much what he can do. He is a dynamic, goalscoring midfielder.

“There’s no doubt losing Josh, Jordan, Niko – and Joey for different reasons – has hit the midfield pretty hard. So we’ve got to look at that situation and find a solution to it.

“Niko is out for the season. He’d been coming into his prime, was starting to boss the games. We’ve lost a very good player in Niko, someone a bit different and we need to replace that.

“Jordan has been frustrated by injury, while Josh slipped on the astroturf at the side of the pitch at Partick last Saturday. He has a grade one hamstring and will be out for seven to ten days.

“We’ve been a bit unfortunate in that department, no excuses. But we’ve got to look at it and January will hopefully give us a chance to do that.”

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