By Alex Stevens

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has emerged as a target for the Football Association, according to a report.

The Times claim English football chiefs are keen for the Ibrox boss to apply to become the new manager of the England Under-21s.

It is said that the FA have been impressed by Warburton’s managerial record at Rangers, who he guided to promotion back to the top flight in his first season at the helm, as well as former club Brentford.

At Griffith Park, Warburton steered the west London outfit from League into the Championship and came close to gaining promotion to the Premier League only to be denied at the play-offs.

The Under-21s post has been vacant since Gareth Southgate was promoted from within and became the permanent manager of the senior side last month.

The England Under-21 job is regarded as a plum one within English football, given the opportunity to develop the next generation of the country’s talent.

As has been seen with Southgate, it is also a potential stepping stone to the senior England job.

Warburton has been criticised by sections of the Rangers support this season for the team’s failure to offer a credible title challenge to runaway leaders Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers’ side went 14 points clear at the top of the table on Tuesday night when they beat Partick Thistle 1-0 at Parkhead.

In other Rangers transfer news, the club have moved a step closer to sealing a January playmaker deal.