Ally McCoist hoping for Marius Zaliukas decision

Ally McCoist hopes for a decision in the next 48 hours. Picture: PA
Ally McCoist hopes for a decision in the next 48 hours. Picture: PA
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Ally McCoist expects to find out in the next couple of days if Marius Zaliukas will become Rangers’ latest recruit.

The former Hearts skipper was offered a deal earlier this week and has returned to his native Lithuania to consider the offer.

Zaliukas – who left Hearts at the end of his contract in the summer as the club tried to slash their wage bill – impressed the manager while training with Rangers and McCoist should know in the next 48 hours or so whether or not he has landed the defender.

“Marius has gone back home,” said McCoist, who is preparing to take his team to Forfar tomorrow as they bid to preserve their 100 per cent start to League One. “We have put an offer to him and we would be very hopeful of speaking to him in the next couple of days to see whether or not he will take that offer up.”

If the answer is no, McCoist says he has other options to bolster his defence, with talks still ongoing with Bosnian international Boris Pandza.

He added: “I know we are still in negotiations and speaking to Boris Pandza’s agent.

“I know Craig [Mather, chief executive] has been speaking to him.

“I will speak to Craig later today to see if there are any further developments. We are still pursuing a couple of lines in central defence.”

Asked if there was a chance of signing both players, McCoist said: “I don’t know. I couldn’t say it would be both or one or the other.

“I would have to wait and see what progress has been made in terms of the details of the offers.”

Despite McCoist’s suggestions he could yet sign, Pandza accused Rangers of a lack of professionalism as he revealed he did not expect a firm offer to materialise.

The Bosnian defender, who was first in talks with the club in pre-season, told STV: “Nothing’s happened. Everybody says ‘wait, wait, wait’, all summer we wait. In the end, nothing.

“It’s a new situation that they want to sell some players but they are limited with the budget. When they’ve been talking about this for three months and haven’t done anything then that’s not professional. I don’t believe something is going to happen.”

Greek defender Anestis Argyriou is the latest player to head for the Ibrox exit door and McCoist says more could follow. He said: “I think that’s another four boys who have left the club in the last month or so. Like most clubs, there will be activity and players coming in as well as leaving.”

Meanwhile, McCoist declined to be drawn on where the Ramsdens Cup final should be held this year if semi-finalists Rangers make the last two. Competition organisers would be likely to seek a bigger than usual venue, given the size of Rangers support.

With Hampden unavailable due to the Commonwealth Games, Celtic Park and even Ibrox itself could be possible alternatives.

McCoist said: “I would be far happier having this conversation if we are in the final. I’ll probably save it for then.”