MARK Warburton has refused to rule out a fresh attempt to prise Scott Allan from Hibs despite the Easter Road club’s firm declaration they will not sell the midfielder to Rangers.
Allan’s wish to join the club he supported as a boy during the current transfer window was rejected by Hibs earlier this week when they turned down his formal request for a transfer and insisted they will not sanction a move to their biggest rivals for the Championship title this season.
The 23-year-old remains on Rangers manager Warburton’s list of transfer targets, however, and it is understood a fresh bid will be tabled within the next few days. Previous offers of £175,000 and £225,000 for Allan, who has a year remaining on his Hibs contract, were rejected.
“Scott is a Hibs player and I keep saying that,” said Warburton. “Rangers as a club will always be looking for quality additions, we have to. Any club with ambition has to add quality to its ranks. If that quality becomes available, we will make a move. Scott Allan is a Hibs player, it is as simple as that.”
Asked if Rangers would now wait until January to try and sign Allan on a pre-contract agreement instead, Warburton was non-committal.
“It is not for me to talk about another club’s player,” he replied. “He is a Hibs player and I have got to be very respectful here. I would be irate if people were talking about my players. From Rangers perspective, we must always be looking to add quality.
We must always be looking to add qualityMark Warburton
“We have got our targets and we know as a football department what we want to do.
“To achieve those targets, we have to add quality when it does become available.
“We are making progress. It is about timing and making sure it is right for all parties.
“We are getting closer. If they become available, great. If not, we have got a strong squad here.
“If you can add, I think you have to do that, on and off the pitch. If we can add quality that takes us forward as a football club then we have to do that.
“If the quality becomes available and we are in a position to go for it, fantastic. If not, we have got a good squad of players.”
One addition to Warburton’s squad does seem imminent as 35-year-old midfielder John Eustace moves closer to being offered a contract.
The former Watford and Derby County player has been training with Rangers for the past four weeks and has now fully recovered from a knee injury which had sidelined him since January.
“John has trained well and he had his most intense session yet on Tuesday,” said Warburton. “He joined the main group on Monday and it is great to see. John is a very talented player and a model professional off the pitch. He would be a great leader for us, along with the likes of Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace.”
Warburton expressed satisfaction at the backing he has received so far from the Rangers’ board in reinforcing his squad with seven senior players.
“The owners of the club have got so much on their plate and there are so many aspects to running the club,” said Warburton. “We haven’t lost out on a player we have gone for. In that respect, the support has been fantastic and if that carries on then we will be in great shape.”