Mark Warburton hopes to complete some early business when the transfer window opens next week as he seeks up to three new players to bolster Rangers’ Championship title challenge.
The Rangers manager has identified the signing targets he believes can improve what he admits is currently a “lean” first team squad at Ibrox.
Warburton’s bid to lead Rangers to automatic promotion to the Premiership in his first season in charge has come under significant threat from an in-form Hibs side in recent weeks.
The teams are now level on points at the top of the table ahead of their much-anticipated meeting at Ibrox on Monday afternoon.
Hibs have already kick-started their January window shopping by securing a deal for experienced English striker Chris Dagnall. Warburton is keen to follow suit as quickly as possible.
“I hope so,” he said when asked if he expected to make early additions to his squad in January. “A lot of work is going on in that regard. That’s no disrespect to the players already here, but we know that we are a lean, tight squad. You are going to have tough, heavy pitches over the next stage of the season and there can be injuries.
“So it’s just about making sure we add the one, two or three players we think will give us a bit of quality that we haven’t currently got.”
Rangers have been strongly linked with a move for Accrington Stanley striker Josh Windass and also credited with an interest in Dundee forward Greg Stewart.
Warburton has already assessed several trialists at Rangers’ training ground this month, including Polish goalkeeper Majiec Gostomski, Latvian under-21 international striker Vladislavs Gutkovskis and 19-year-old Wolves winger Mekhi Leacock-McLeod.
Rangers have also been linked with a loan move for Liverpool’s teenage Welsh international winger Harry Wilson. Warburton confirmed he is ready to explore the loan market again, having used it to recruit Spurs duo Dominic Ball and Nathan Oduwa and Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem in the summer transfer window.
Meanwhile, Rangers have confirmed they have repaid the £5 million owed to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct firm.
A statement said: “We are pleased to announce that payment has today been sent to Sportsdirect.com Retail Limited of the full amount of the loan facilities provided by that company to The Rangers Football Club Limited.”