By Harry Sykes
Pedro Caixinha has made a double raid on his former club Santos Laguna as he steps up his Rangers overhaul, according to a report.
The Mexican edition of Spanish-speaking publication AS claim Caixinha has made his first move, by asking Santos Laguna about the availability of right-back Jose Abella and central defender Carlos Izquierdoz.
It is said that Rangers manager Caixinha wants to land the defensive pair as he targets players who he already knows well.
The Portugese admitted on Thursday that his summer recruitment will include reinforcements from those he has managed in the past.
Argentinian centre-back Izquierdoz, 28, signed a new three-year contract only last month but Caixinha appears convinced he can still lure him to Scotland.
Izquierdoz, who was recruited by the Portugese three years ago for Santos Laguna, confirmed last month that he was aware of interest from Rangers.
The new Rangers boss also wants to be reunited with full-back Abella, 23.
Former Mexico Under-20 international Abella is regarded as one of the best right-backs in the Mexican League and has been at Santos Laguna for four years.
Both players were instrumental in Caixinha’s success in Central America and are high on his list of planned recruitments for Rangers for next season’s campaign.
The Portuguese boss has reportedly made up a wanted list of up to 12 players for next season as he aims to shake up his current squad at Ibrox.
Rangers travel to sixth-placed Partick Thistle on Sunday aiming to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s humiliating home league defeat at the hands of Celtic.
The 5-1 hammering at Ibrox virtually ended Caixinha’s sides hopes of overhauling Aberdeen and finishing the league season second beyond champions Celtic.
In other Rangers transfer news, Caixinha has made emphatic decisions on four players ahead of the summer window.