Mark Warburton: It’s flattering to be linked with England

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has been linked with the England under-21 job. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Rangers manager Mark Warburton has been linked with the England under-21 job. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Mark Warburton admits it is flattering to be linked with the England Under-21 post but insists he has unfinished business at Rangers.

A report claimed the Football Association is keen to see the Ibrox manager take over new England manager Gareth Southgate’s former role leading the U21 side.

His previous experience working in youth development combined with his commitment to playing attacking football with Rangers was said to have fired him into the thoughts of the governing body.

But while Warburton admits he has ambition to one day land England’s top job, he is not ready to return to his homeland just yet.

He said: “It’s very flattering to be linked to a job, especially a job of that stature, but it’s a privilege to be manager here at Rangers.

“We’ve got a big job in hand to do at this club and we’re delighted to be here.

“There has been no discussion (about the FA post) at all.

“(Becoming manager of your national team) has to be (an ambition). Any coach starting out on the rung has to think, ‘How high can I go?’

“What is the dream job? Of course any manager will say (managing their country) is. You’re talking about the highest elite level of management.

“But right now I’ve got a fantastic job here. Davie Weir and I have a job here and we’re looking forward to doing it.”

Warburton’s more immediate priority is to strengthen his squad once next month’s transfer window opens.

The former Brentford boss would not be drawn on rumours suggesting he was ready to make a loan swoop for his former Bees playmaker Jota.

But he did admit he was looking for a player in a similar mould to the 25-year-old Spaniard.

Warburton - who also dismissed claims midfielder Matt Crooks has asked to go out on loan after becoming frustrated with his lack of action at Ibrox - said: “It’s about looking at the right option for the club.

“January is notoriously difficult because clubs don’t want to lose their best players and if you do sign someone, you end up paying more than they are actually worth.

“So I’d imagine one or two loans is the best option for us in January with a view to whatever happens in the summer.

“The midfield is an area that is well documented [that Rangers need to strengthen]. We lost Niko Kranjcar to a long-term injury so we’re looking for an attacking midfielder if one becomes available.

“But they have to add quality to the squad.

“We are close. We are doing the work we have to do but until the player signs on the dotted line, you have to man mark them almost to get it over the line because there are more clubs fishing in a smaller pond for players.

“We are making progress I hope and we’ll soon find out.”