Ally McCoist hopeful of Craig Whyte backing in quest for new faces

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist claims he has not been told by owner Craig Whyte to offload players before he can strengthen his squad this month.

The Ibrox manager is keen to make use of the January window to bolster his resources, with attacking options even more of a priority now that Kyle Lafferty has been sidelined for around seven weeks through injury.

Speaking ahead of his side’s Scottish Cup trip to face Arbroath at Gayfield tomorrow, McCoist said he has held talks with the chairman and says Whyte is in agreement that new players must be recruited over the next few weeks.

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He said: “I sat down and had a good chat with Craig. He is of the same opinion as myself.

“There has not been an exact figure in terms of how much cash we have to spend or what we need to do. But I would reassure you that he is as keen to bring players in – especially in the forward areas – as I am.

“Any activity you would rather have sooner rather than later but I can’t control that.

“We do have players we have targeted and will hopefully move for but in terms of a timescale I can’t give you one unfortunately.

“I’ve had a couple of meetings with Craig and he did not say to me that we needed to get players out to get players in.

“Like any business, that would probably be his perfect solution but he didn’t say that to me and he is as aware as I am that we need to be strengthened.”

McCoist has been linked with two former Rangers strikers, Nacho Novo and Kris Boyd, but insists no moves have been made to bring either back to Ibrox so far.

He said: “We haven’t put any bid in for Nacho and we haven’t spoken to his agent or spoken to Nacho and that’s where we are at the moment.

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“Boydy had a fantastic and phenomenal goalscoring record here, a fantastic period here.

“He is the same as Nacho. We haven’t made any bid at all. It would be unfair to do anything until we spoke to the lad himself or his agent. I’m not in a position to rule anybody in but I certainly wouldn’t rule anything out at all for anybody.”

McCoist confirmed no offers have been received yet for top goalscorer Nikica Jelavic, who has been linked with a move to the Barclays Premier League.

He said: “There has been a lot of talk but there have been absolutely no offers for Nikica Jelavic, which, at this moment in time, pleases me. That might change and if it does, we will keep you up to speed.

“The most important thing for the Rangers fans is that he trained this morning and he will travel with us to Arbroath for the cup tie on Sunday.”

However, Rangers did reject an offer – reported to be in the region of £500,000 – from Sochaux for midfielder Maurice Edu.

McCoist added: “During the transfer window, I think it’s equally important that you keep your top players, the ones you want to feature in the team.

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“The world we live in, if someone comes in with a bid, you need to think about it and look at it and, hopefully, knock it back.”

Thomas Bendiksen is the only player to depart Rangers so far, agreeing a move to Tromso in his native Norway after his Ibrox contract expired.

McCoist said: “It was a disappointment to lose Thomas. He had been here for three or four years and had a couple of really bad knee injuries and medically we looked after him really well. We are just disappointed that he chose not to sign the deal.

“But there are no hard feelings at all and we wish him all the very best. He’s not done anything wrong. All he did was exercise his right, which he was entitled to do, and we are just disappointed that he didn’t choose us.”