Rangers boss addresses Morgan Whittaker, Jake Cooper and Nicolas Raskin transfers and welcomes playmaker into squad

Rangers manager Michael Beale is excited about the impact a fit-again Ianis Hagi and new signing Todd Cantwell will have on his squad as he insisted there was no urgent need for any other arrivals.

Hagi will be back in the Rangers squad for Saturday’s cinch Premiership visit of St Johnstone following a year out with a knee injury, while Cantwell arrived from Norwich earlier in the week.

Beale revealed there had been no movement on their pursuit of Morgan Whittaker in recent days after Swansea rejected an offer for the striker earlier in the month. He rejected claims that Rangers had signed Standard Liege midfielder Nicolas Raskin on a pre-contract, while he also explained that Millwall’s Jake Cooper was “not on my radar” despite being a previous Rangers target.

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Beale said: “There’s a lot of noise around one or two players out there, so there are lots of things growing arms and legs that are maybe not so true. All I would say is we are busy in the background. It’s not true that we have signed a pre-contract with anybody. He (Raskin) is obviously a player we like, there are negotiations going on between the clubs but they are not the only ones we are speaking to. They are not the only two names we are looking at. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s different names or no-one at all.

Rangers manager Michael Beale has spoken about a clutch of players linked to the club.Rangers manager Michael Beale has spoken about a clutch of players linked to the club.
Rangers manager Michael Beale has spoken about a clutch of players linked to the club.

“I knew coming into the club that this window was round the corner but the club might have targets that don’t fit in with my ideas or plans, and vice versa, the ones I want might not be available now. We managed to get Todd and if we manage to get one or two of the names that you’re mentioning – or one or two that you haven’t quite got the scent on – then that will be great.

“If not, I think our squad is strong enough to get to the end of the season. So it’s not like I am going to be devastated come next week if we don’t get another one in. There’s money to be spent but it’s there to be spent on the right ones.”

Beale has been heartened by the easing of the club’s injury situation with Hagi’s return a major boost. “I’m delighted to have him back, he looks really sharp,” Beale said. “He’s not ready for 90 minutes but to have Ianis Hagi and Todd Cantwell in the squad, I’m a really happy manager. Ianis and I are really close. He is a special young person to have around the place, as a professional and a kid, to have him back is massive. He has been missing for a year and he would have been a big player for us.

“Kemar Roofe is not far from returning to training, we have Antonio Colak fitter, and with Ianis and Todd in there, we look a better Rangers. All of a sudden we are starting to look like we have numbers up the pitch, and good variety. There is not a lot missing in the final third if they are all fit and happy.”

Rangers sold midfielder Charlie McCann to Forest Green this week but Beale is not anticipating more departures. “No-one has come to me yet unhappy so as it stands the senior players are staying,” he said. “We have only really had 18 players training until this week. It was nice to get up to 20 this week. So I don’t think we have got that many numbers that we can be moving players on right now.”

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