Graeme Murty insists he did not kick Carlos Pena out of Ibrox but hinted that more stars could leave as he makes his own mark on Rangers for the second half of the Premiership season.
Pena has been reunited with Pedro Caixinha, who has taken the midfielder on loan at Mexican side Cruz Azul for 12 months with a view to a three-year contract and Rangers will pay half of his salary. It is understood that Portuguese trio Bruno Alves, Fabio Cardoso and Dalcio – who is on loan from Benfica – could also go in the January window with Eduardo Herrera also expected to be moved on.
Murty has already brought in Sean Goss and Jamie Murphy on loan, while Andy Halliday and Michael O’Halloran have returned from loan deals.
And the Ibrox boss is looking at more business as he begins a training camp in Florida today.
Murty said: “We didn’t push Carlos out the door and we’re certainly not actively looking to sell anyone else.
“There was a request from Pedro to bring Carlos back to Mexico so that was up to those two. What we’re trying to ensure is that when we have the people inside the building they are people who want to be here, who can be here and who give everything that they have.
“If we have that consistently from everyone inside the group then who knows what we are capable of.
“Nothing would surprise me if the player performing at the top of his game had an offer come in for him.
“Nothing would surprise me if the player who isn’t getting a game wants to go on loan.
“We protect the club, that’s paramount. We need to make sure we have happy players because happy players perform better.
“If we have that, then, hopefully, we can have a good end to the season.
“As for players coming in, I’ve really no idea in terms of numbers. I don’t have an ideal figure in mind but, if an opportunity that interested us arose, then we would certainly look at it.
“I’m happy with the balance of the squad at the moment but we can add to it if we feel we need to.”
Murphy will arrive at IMG Academy in Bradenton today a day after the rest of the squad after a loan deal with a view to purchase was agreed with Brighton.
Alves is back in Portugal recuperating from the calf injury he suffered in the Od Firm derby.